The Boston Bruins did not open up their three-game homestand the way they had hoped. Playing their third game in four nights, Boston was able to dig deep and open up an early lead. It looked like the Ducks were going to be out of the contest early, but they were able to chip away at the lead.
The flurry of goals in the first two periods left fans wondering which way the game was going to turn. From start to finish this game proved to be fast, physical and very entertaining.
An NHL period is 20 minutes long, but the majority of the first period action occurred in a span of 37 seconds. To kick off the scoring, David Krejci sent a pass to Zdeno Chara who was all alone at the point. Chara had time to walk in, wind up and take a laser of a shot past Jonathan Bernier.
Thirteen seconds later Austin Czarnik was able to power a one-timer past Bernier after a nice pass from Ryan Spooner. Boston was in full control at 2-0, so the Ducks elected to take their timeout. Randy Carlyle must have given a fantastic speech, because 37 seconds after Chara’s goal, Andrew Cogliano put the Ducks on the board.
Kevin Bieksa was able to able to get the game tied at two when he scored on a breakaway after leaving the penalty box. Overall, the Bruins controlled most of the play and came close to jamming home a few more pucks on scrambles in front of the net. Despite the control, the clubs enter the second tied at two.
— Marina Maher (@marinakmaher) December 16, 2016
It did not take long for the wild scoring of the first frame to spill over to the second period. Just 55 seconds into the period Josh Manson buried his first of the year for Anaheim. He was able to get wide open in front of the net after Brandon Carlo missed a breakout attempt, giving the Ducks their first lead.
Less than two minutes after Manson’s tally, Krejci tied the game on the power play. Torey Krug’s shot from the point found Krejci and he banged in the bouncing rebound. Roughly three minutes later, the Ducks controlled the play and were rewarded for their brief dominance when Rickard Rakell scored his 12th of the year.
There was a scary moment in this second when Marchand appeared to be injured. He laid a big hit on Hampus Lindholm and fell awkwardly. Fortunately, he was able to return a few shifts later. David Pastrnak almost tied the game late in the period on a partial breakaway, but he fell before he could get off a good shot.
The third period opened with a lot of speed. The Bruins were pressing hard to get the game tied, while the Ducks worked to put a dagger in Boston with another goal. Bernier had to come up big for the Ducks on two occasions early, making key saves on Riley Nash and Pastrnak to preserve the lead.
The Bruins continued to put heavy pressure on the Ducks throughout most of the period, but could not find the tying goal. With about 90 seconds left on the clock, Claude Julien pulled Anton Khudobin for the extra attacker. Despite their best efforts, Boston came up short at the final buzzer, falling 4-3.
BOS-Zdeno Chara (2) assisted by David Backes (8) and Brad Marchand (18)
BOS-Austin Czarnik (4) assisted by Ryan Spooner (8) and Riley Nash (4)
ANA-Andrew Cogliano (8) Unassisted
ANA-Kevin Bieksa (2) assisted by Ryan Getzlaf (23)
ANA-Josh Manson (1) assisted by Jakob Silfverberg (13) and Rickard Rakell (7)
BOS-David Krejci (6) PPG assisted by David Backes (9) and Torey Krug (13)
ANA-Rickard Rakell (12) assisted by Sami Vatanen (11) and Cam Fowler (12)
THW THREE STARS
First: Rickard Rakell (one goal-one assist)
Second: David Backes (two assists)
Third: Josh Manson (First goal of season)
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Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.