Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Anaheim Ducks battling to a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes at the Honda Center.
1) The Brad Marchand/Patrice Bergeron/Reilly Smith line clearly feeling the responsibility to step up in the absence of Milan Lucic, who will miss the game due to illness. With the B’s top line broken up for the first time this season, Bergeron, Marchand and Smith combined for six shots on net, 11 shot attempts and numerous scoring chances. But both Marchand and Bergeron had their best chances frustrated by Jonas Hiller glove saves.
2) Only three shots for the Anaheim Ducks, as the Bruins outdo them in shot attempts by a 30-6 margin in the first period while living in the Ducks defensive zone. It took nearly the first half of the game for Anaheim to register their first shot on net, though Matt Beleskey did fire a puck off the crossbar prior to their first official shot on net.
3) Jonas Hiller is in the groove right now. Sixteen saves in total and the glove save on Brad Marchand from the left circle after a Patrice Bergeron dish was highway robbery. Hiller has had some health issues the last few years, but he’s nasty when he’s healthy and feeling it like his now while going for his 12th straight win.
4) Daniel Paille and Carl Soderberg were trading shifts on the left wing in the place of Milan Lucic alongside David Krejci and Jarome Iginla. Both players clearly bringing different skills to the table, but Soderberg would be the more traditional replacement for No. 17.
5) Heavy, heavy hitting in this game. Some real Big Boy Hockey with a couple of big, heavy, physical teams that also have plenty of skill.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Anaheim Ducks by a 3-1 score after the first 40 minutes at the Honda Center.
1) Another dominant night for Daniel Paille, who is buzzing around with his speed and leads the Bruins with five shots on net bouncing between lines with the 11-forward setup. Paille also potted his fourth goal in the last six games since returning from a concussion when he beat Jonas Hiller through the pads on a quick fourth line rush.
2) The Paille goal was set up on a pretty feed from Justin Florek as they worked a 2-on-1 in front of the net. It was Florek’s first NHL point in his second game, and the Bruins rookie continues to make a much bigger impact than Jordan Caron has throughout this entire season.
3) Another special teams disaster from the Bruins in the second period with a couple of power play goals for the Ducks, and a shorthanded score for Andrew Cogliano when Reilly Smith made a couple of boneheaded plays with the puck. He just left a puck sitting in the defensive zone that Dougie Hamilton couldn’t make a strong play on, and that sloppiness turned into a goal against. I guess Smith isn’t perfect all the time after all.
4) Tough call on Dougie Hamilton for a holding penalty that led to Anaheim’s first PP goal to Mathieu Perreault, and less than four minutes late a Johnny Boychuk hooking penalty leads to a Corey Perry power play score. Penalty kill for the Bruins has been taking a beating lately.
5) Good heavyweight tilt between Adam McQuaid and Patrick Maroon in the second period when the Ducks went up 3-0. McQuaid clearly looking to fire up his teammates while getting into a scrap in his second straight game, and it absolutely works with Paille breaking through 42 seconds later. Clearly the Bruins defenseman helped change the momentum at the end of the second period. Stick that in your non-fighting agenda pipes and smoke it.
Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins falling to the Anaheim Ducks by a 5-2 score after 60 unsatisfying minutes at the Honda Center.
1) Adam McQuaid out on the ice for all three Anaheim power play goals, and is having a difficult time stepping up on the PK with Dennis Seidenberg out of the lineup. McQuaid was out of position on the first goal helping to open up a shooting spot for Mathieu Perreault, and appeared to get in Tuukka Rask’s way on the final Anaheim PP goal for Nick Bonino when he made a head-first dive in front of the net. In all three instances, the Ducks had way too much space to operate down low in front of the net. Tough game for McQuaid as he was on ice for four goals against in 10:33 of ice time.
2) The Bruins have allowed 17 goals in the five games since Seidenberg went down with the knee injury, and they’ve allowed seven power play goals in 17 chances on the PK since they lost the German defenseman. Combine that with the 14 goals allowed by Tuukka Rask in his last four games, and the defensive numbers are taking a hit without their defenseman perfected by German engineering.
3) A big goal for Dougie Hamilton in the third period, his first since Nov. 4 that snapped a 19-game goalless drought and continues to pump up the confidence of a player they’re going to need down the stretch.
4) Tuukka Rask continues to look human in this stretch without Dennis Seidenberg as well, and gave up five goals on 20 shots in the loss to the Ducks. Clearly he was outplayed by Jonas Hiller in this one.
5) Brad Marchand is getting a lot of reputation calls, and the interference call for kicking Ryan Getzlaf’s stick was definitely one of them as it wiped out a Bruins PP before eventually leading to Nick Bonino’s backbreaking power play goal in the third.