– Brian Rolston
and Marty Turco
haven't been with the Boston Bruins
long, but they know this feeling.
Both are veterans of deep playoff runs and both sense something building after Boston completed a sweep through Southern California with a 3-2 victory against the Anaheim Ducks
at Honda Center.
Rolston and Benoit Pouliot
each had a goal and an assist and Chris Kelly
had two assists in a huge night for the third line, while Turco made 25 saves for his first win as a Bruin.
Boston beat Los Angeles and Anaheim on back-to-back nights and has won four of five after a four-game losing streak. It increased its lead over idle Ottawa to five points in the Northeast Division and appears to have regained some mojo.
"When I first got here, this team wasn't firing on all cylinders," Turco said. "They weren't playing like they can, imposing their will. Team defense makes this team tick and this team defense comes with attitude. It's a real treat to have these guys out here, not just the defense. It was a good sight to see."
Rolston's third-period goal stood as the game winner after the Ducks pulled to 3-2 with 2:29 to go on Lubomir Visnovsky
's shot off Turco's blocker before the Bruins closed it out. Boston got another terrific game from Zdeno Chara
, who scored a goal in the first and was a force at both ends.
From Rolston's perspective, the Bruins' depth and grit is showing.
"I've played for almost 20 years in this League, and I haven't quite seen a jelled team like this," Rolston said. "Even though we were struggling a little bit, it's just a real team. It's not about individuals, and that speaks to the character in this dressing room."
Anaheim was coming off wins against San Jose and St. Louis and faced old nemesis Turco, who made his second start for Boston and his first since a loss to Tampa Bay on March 13 when he allowed four goals on 12 shots.
Turco was much more solid this time, and Boston preserved a 2-1 lead in the third when Matt Beleskey
's goal was waved off because of goaltender interference with 12:38 remaining as Andrew Cogliano
was in the crease. Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau was so livid he came out to the bench door to argue the call.
Officials declined to speak to a pool reporter afterward and cited Rule 69.5B which states that, "interference can be called when the attacking player is in the crease and "impairing the goalkeeper's ability to defend his goal."
That didn't placate Boudreau.
"What do you want me to say?" Boudreau said. "There was no explanation given to me … It costs us the game. Sure they got another goal, but we would have played completely if it was a 2-2 tie with 10 minutes to go. We would have tried to take into overtime because one point to us is really important."
It turned out to be a big swing.
Rolston scored at 13:06 for a 3-1 lead. He one-timed a pass from Kelly after Chara started the play at the other end when he whacked the puck from Visnovsky.
Rolston -- who had nine points in 49 games with the New York Islanders -- has three goals and eight assists in six games in a career renaissance with Turco.
"I had no question in my mind that I can contribute on a regular basis but it's about opportunity and getting your confidence,” Rolston said. "I think the coaching staff has shown a lot of confidence in me and that gives you confidence as a player. Plain and simple. I've produced in this League before, and I'm not over the hill yet."
The Ducks are on the verge of elimination and the focus has shifted to franchise icon Teemu Selanne
, who has only two home games remaining in what might be his last season.
The 41-year-old provided another celebratory moment with his 661st career goal on a tip of Cam Fowler
's shot to pull Anaheim to 2-1 in the second. Selanne took sole possession of fourth on the all-time power play goals list with 248.
Anaheim is aware, though, that they could be officially out by the time they take the ice Wednesday against San Jose.
"The whole thing is tough to swallow," captain Ryan Getzlaf
said. "We've worked really hard the last three months. We just had such a big hole to come out of. I guess we'll see what happens Wednesday."
Boston, which scored twice in 1:19 in the third period of Saturday's win, got two in 1:22 in the second period.
Chara collected an errant clear by Francois Beauchemin
and scored from just inside the blue line at 4:37 after Beauchemin tipped the shot past Jonas Hiller
, who made his franchise-record 69th start.
Pouilot made it 2-0 when he took a pass from Kelly on a rush and wristed it in at 5:59. The score gave Pouliot four goals in nine games, and it was significant considering Boston was 34-0-0 this season when it takes a two-goal lead at any point.
returned after he missed 19 games with a knee injury, and the Pouliot-Kelly-Rolston line was the only line that Boston coach Claude Julien kept intact.
Kelly has four goals and three assists in his past five games.
"That secondary scoring from your third and fourth line – it's very important for us for our hockey club," Chara said. "We don't always rely on a few guys."