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Bruins begin tough trip against Ducks

by Davis Harper

BRUINS (28-12-2) at DUCKS (31-8-5)


Last 10: Boston 6-4-0; Anaheim 9-1-0

Season series: Zdeno Chara tied the game with 2:50 left in regulation and the Boston Bruins beat the Anaheim Ducks in a shootout, 3-2, the first time these teams met on Oct. 31 at TD Garden.

Big story: The Bruins kick off a three-game California road swing in Anaheim, where the Ducks still haven't lost in regulation. Thanks in large-part to a franchise-record 17-0-2 mark at Honda Center, Anaheim sits atop the League rankings with 67 points from 44 games. The Ducks are flying of late, as well, with 13 wins in 14 games.

The Bruins aren't far behind, sitting sixth in the NHL and second in the Eastern Conference with 58 points in 42 games, despite being hampered by injuries for most of the season.

Team Scope:

Bruins: The Bruins know they are in for a tough road stretch with Anaheim, the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks on the horizon. Following a 4-1 win at home against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, "six" reverberated throughout the locker room. That's the combined number of home losses for those three Western Conference powers.

"Well it's going to be a challenge, I've said it all along," coach Claude Julien said. "The players know about it. We might as well mention the fact that they have a combined six regulation losses between those three teams so it goes to show you how hard it is to go there and win some hockey games.

"It's a challenge that I and the rest of the team are really looking forward to, because that's the kind of challenge we need right now."

The Bruins are 2-0 in 2014, with consecutive home wins over the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg. Loui Eriksson, out since Dec. 7 with a concussion, will travel with the Bruins.

Ducks: It may have been Anaheim's closest call to date. On Sunday, the Vancouver Canucks held a 3-2 lead into the final two minutes of regulation at Honda Center, threatening to end Anaheim's golden run. It was not to be. Nick Bonino wristed one home with 1:27 remaining, and Corey Perry added the exclamation point with an overtime winner with 1.3 seconds left in overtime.

"When you have a belief you can win," said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, "you're never out of the game."

Anaheim outshot Vancouver 40-7 over the final 40 minutes.

"It does get a little frustrating, but we have confidence in this building and with our team," Bonino said. "Lack played a hell of a game. Once I didn't get that overtime breakaway, I wasn't sure if I'd get another one, but we never gave up. With 0.6 seconds left, Corey finds a way to worm it in."

Who's hot: Torey Krug leads Bruins had two goals and an assist in the win Saturday against Winnipeg. Krug is tied with Erik Karlsson and Shea Weber for the NHL lead for goals by a defensemen, with 10. … Bonino has two goals and three assists over Anaheim's current three-game winning streak.

Injury report: In addition to Eriksson, right wing Jordan Caron (back) is questionable. Centers Chris Kelly (ankle) and Marc Savard (concussion) are on injured reserve. Left wing Shawn Thornton (suspension) will be eligible Jan. 11, and defenseman Dennis Seidenberg (knee) is out for the season. … For Anaheim, defenseman Luca Sbisa (hand), goalie Viktor Fasth (lower body) and defenseman Sheldon Souray (wrist) are on injured reserve.

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