First thing I'd like to say is kudos to the Bruins organization. It was a great gesture to rename the booth in Fred Cusick's honor last week but in the pregame festivities now when all the past Bruin greats get their highlights, up pops a picture of Fred and one of his simple, yet very classic “SCORE” calls. As someone who watched/listened to Fred from the mid 70's through his retirement in 1995, I was very pleased to see and hear that.
On to the game. The Bruins started the game well. They appeared to continue the attack from last Saturday's 7-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Early on, the Begin line with Thornton and Bitz had two chances only to be stopped by Jonas Hiller in net for the Quacks. You want your 4th line to be physical, control the puck and maybe chip in the odd goal or two. You are in trouble if they are the best forwards going throughout the night. This line was the the Bruins best all night, so much so that on what was the last Bruin power play of the night, this trio was out there trying to reward coach Julien for putting them out there. As the coach said afterwards, “…I think the other guys needed to know that I might as well throw those guys out at least I know they are going to work hard. They might not accomplish what all those skill guys can accomplish, there is no doubt there, and that's what happened. But at least you can send some guys who can at least work hard and make your team at least look respectable.”
Back to the first period. The Bruins were using Hiller like he was the duck at a shooting gallery. They were shooting the puck from any and all directions. The Bruins finally cracked Hiller's defense on a goal he probably should have had. With the puck in the Bruins zone to Thomas's left, Dennis Wideman chipped a backhand pass out to Marco Sturm at the blueline. Sturm on the left, Savard up the middle and Milan Lucic barreling down the right, the B's broke through the neutral zone on a 3 on 2 rush. Sturm chipped a pass to Savard in the middle and Savvy flipped a backhand pass back to Sturm who blasted a low shot through Hiller's pads with 3:27 to go in the first period. After one period, the Bruins had 19 shots on goal.
That was it. Early in the second period, Matt Hunwick (-2 for the night) took an interference penalty. I thought it wasn't a penalty as two guys were in the corner and Hunwick too the body. After Savard and Bitz had a good penalty kill, fifty two seconds later it was Marco Sturm going in the box for a hook. It took the Ducks seven seconds to tie the game – a lot like the Caps game last week. Off the draw, Scott Neidermayer took the puck along the wall and fed Teemu Selanne for a one timer that Thomas had no chance on. Thirty seven seconds after that, it was Selanne again chipping home a backhander on another Thomas rebound.
With seven minutes to go in the middle period, Cory Perry put the first nail in the Bruin coffin. Perry, skated past Sturm, burned Hunwick and abuse Thomas to hit the middle of an open net.
The Ducks opened the thrid period with a testing shot that Thomas saved and led to a Bruin shot on goal. On the rush, Mark Recchi fed Blake wheeler who made a similar move that Perry made on his goal. Unfortunately for Wheeler, his shot hit stick and deflected wide past the net.
Anaheim scored three more in the third period. Hunwick was beaten down the wing with thirteen minutes to go. Six minutes later with the game pretty much in hand, the B's played pathetic defense leading to a Bobby Ryan goal. It was right about then the building started to clear so fans could pick up on what the Red Sox were doing. Anaheim did everything possible to let the B's back in it. Taking three more penalties only led to them increasing their PK stats. The final, almost pathetically funny, moment was with a minute to go in the game, Cory Perry came in on a short handed breakaway. His shot was ight into Thomas' pads but the rebound popped up, head height, and deflected in – soccer style almost for the 6-1 final.
For the second time in three games, the B's special teams let them down. It couldn't have been worse for the boys in black. They were an abyssmal 0-6 on the power play and 0-2 on the penalty kill. The Bruin captain stood tall and faced the questions about their poor play on the special teams. “It is hard to explain, I mean you are right it is the second game, the first game we had against Washington, we had a good first period and then in the second our specialty teams weren’t good enough. Then again tonight, we had some chances and opportunities to at least carry and create momentum into our power plays and the total opposite happened. They were controlling our power play. They out skated us and out worked us, so for sure we need to find our consistency in our 60 minute game. We can’t be just focusing on the first 20 and then totally get away from it. We have to play 20 minutes at a time.”
Tonight's three stars were once again, all from the visitors.
1 – Teemu Salanne – scored the first two Duck goals, including the game winner
2- Cory Perry – scored two goals and assisted on Selanne's game winner
3 – Ryan Getzlaf – over 21 minutes played and was a force in all three zones
Next up, the Bruins face the New York Islanders at home on Saturday night.
About the Author
Written by Jim Mulligan