GOLD STAR: A 39-save effort from Ducks goaltender John Gibson was one of the big difference-makers in the game. He made a sweet, spinning double-stack pad save on a Riley Nash bid in the second period, and then stoned Nash on a breakaway in the third period as well while infuriating the Bruins attackers. On the other hand, the Bruins didn’t consistently get traffic to the front of the Anaheim net and really settled for the perimeter for the most part, and that was a big factor in the season-high 41 shots on net for the Black and Gold. Still, the Bruins had some good chances when it was still a close game in the first couple of periods, and Gibson was up to the task in holding back the Boston offense.
BLACK EYE: The Bruins actually played a decent game all things considered, but a mental mistake for Zdeno Chara definitely hurt their cause in the second period. Chara was whistled on a delayed penalty call on a Corey Perry drive to the net, and then took a look at the official behind the net while play was still ongoing. Josh Manson took advantage of that split-second of distraction from the Bruins captain, and threw a centering pass off his skate that ricocheted past Tuukka Rask for Anaheim’s go-ahead goal. Chara finished a minus-3 at 25:33 of ice time in the loss, and the Bruins are going to be hard-pressed to win many games when their top defenseman is on the ice for that many goals against. The overall performance plus allowing himself to get distracted for Anaheim’s second goal were both big-time negative factors for Boston.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins outshot the Ducks by a 15-3 margin and dominated for nearly the entire period, but they still watched Anaheim score a pair of goals on the three shots. It was a couple of tough breaks for a Bruins team that really did play well over the course of the period, but that’s all small consolation for a team riding a four-game losing streak where it could get a lot worse before it gets better. The Bruins need better results when they actually play well, and that was the disheartening part of Wednesday night.
HONORABLE MENTION: Give Noel Acciari a ton of credit for suiting up under difficult circumstances and playing a great game. Acciari scored a rebound goal at the end of the third period, had a couple of shots on net in his 16 plus minutes of ice time and finished with a game-high 10 registered hits. The goal was Acciari’s first score of the season after beginning to generate his own offense at the end of last year. Acciari also blocked three shots and did everything you could hope for from an energy forward that’s just a couple of games removed from a badly broken finger. Acciari played with heart, emotion and energy. You’d expect nothing less from the ultra-competitive kid from Rhode Island.
BY THE NUMBERS: 4 – the season-high number of losses in a row for the Bruins as they face an uphill climb on this road trip through California with tough match-ups waiting for them in Los Angeles and San Jose.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “I thought our second period was excellent and we deserved better, but it didn’t work out for us.” – Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, on a middle 20 minutes where they outshot the Ducks 15-3 but were outscored by a 2-1 margin.