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Ducks bounce back with win against Bruins

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- Matt Beleskey has played on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry periodically for the previous five seasons. He's now showing what he can do with them on a full-time basis.

Beleskey scored his career-high 12th goal at 4:43 of the third period and goalie Frederik Andersen made 32 saves to lead the Anaheim Ducks to a 3-2 win against the Boston Bruins at Honda Center on Monday.

Devante Smith-Pelly and Sami Vatanen also scored for the Ducks, who were coming off two straight regulation losses for the first time this season and were outscored 10-5 in those games against the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks.

"I think we played a full 60 minutes tonight," Beleskey said. "Our best players were our best. Freddie was great for us when we needed him. That's the game we needed to play."

Beleskey's wrist shot from the left circle beat Boston goalie Tuukka Rask glove side. Ryan Getzlaf won a faceoff against Carl Soderberg straight back to Beleskey, who is second behind Corey Perry for the Ducks lead in scoring and is on pace for 36 goals.

"Right now it's a pretty easy transition to slide in with them, and you're playing with two great players," Beleskey said. "It always makes it a little bit easier."

Beleskey smiled when asked about the comfort of knowing he's going to play with Getzlaf and Perry because Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau is always tinkering lines. Boudreau joked when asked if Beleskey found a home as the left wing on the top line.

"On our team? There's never a home," Boudreau said. "There's a couple of tents [that] are up, but I don't know if it's a home.

"Now he's feeling that he can score. In the past, he didn't shoot the puck much. He didn't get as much ice time as he's getting. He's more in a role of banging and energy, and now he's asked to do the banging and energy, plus shooting the puck and being a big shooter on that line, and it's paying off."

Boudreau was relieved after the Ducks were able to grind out a win with a defense that is missing three regulars. Andersen got his 11th win in his 12th straight start, the most by a Ducks goalie since Jonas Hiller started 32 straight in 2012.

Boston pulled to 3-2 on Simon Gagne's goal at 10:20 of the third, but the Bruins rallied short to begin a four-game trip. Boston has scored 16 goals in its past nine games and plays the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

Rask and Boston coach Claude Julien said they were the better team, but the Bruins could not capitalize on two power plays in the second; they blew shorthanded chances by Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron before Andersen stopped Joe Morrow on a breakaway.

"I think the chances were there," Bruins forward Chris Kelly said. "You need to look at the positives when you are having difficulty scoring goals and having the mindset of putting the puck to the net. I thought we did that well tonight. There were a few chances that the pucks were laying around. We had some good opportunities. Their goalie played well."

Smith-Pelly gave the Ducks a 2-1 lead going into the third period with his first goal since Oct.28. He deftly tipped Cam Fowler's shot from the slot at 19:38 of the second while the Ducks got traffic in front of Rask.

"That definitely deflates you a little bit," Rask said. "You never want to get scored on the last minute of the period. In the past, it's happened a lot to us, and now it happened again. It's something we really have to pay attention to. It really sucks the air out or your tires."

Defenseman Vatanen tied it 1-1 at 11:17 of the second on a terrific play when he carried the puck into the zone, passed it to Patrick Maroon and went to the net to put in Maroon's rebound. Vatanen's sixth goal this season matched his total in 48 games last season, and he's one point shy of his career high (21).

"It sure was at the right time," Boudreau said. "They had scored and had a quite a few chances. You could see the bench needed a lift, and Sami gave it to them."

Andersen made 27 saves through two periods but Boston's Brad Marchand easily snapped it past him from the slot at 10:20 of the second after David Pastrnak's pass hit Andersen's stick and went right to Marchand.

Boston held a 13-7 shot advantage in the first period, with most of Anaheim's shots coming from the perimeter that Rask saw cleanly. Andersen held up his end on two penalty kills in which Boston put seven shots on goal.

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