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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween from the Bruins, Courtesy of the Ducks

The Bruins were in danger of losing their third straight game and second in as many nights when Zdeno Chara came to the rescue. He scored a power play goal, his second goal of the season, with 2:50 left in regulation. Boston (8-4-0) still had some work to do but after surviving overtime, Jarome Iginla potted the only strike in the shootout as the Bruins outlasted the Ducks (10-3-1) 3-2.

Tuukka Rask (21 saves) started again even though he took the loss in Pittsburgh last night but he didn't seem fazed by the heavy workload. His teammates on the other hand looked dead for the most part (zombie alert!) as they managed one shot on goal in the first period, one! Devante Smith-Pelly had given Anaheim a 1-0 lead 1:52 into the game on a one-timer from Mathieu Perrault and Dustin Penner, before the crowd could settle into their seats with their elaborate costumes.

Carl Soderberg could have found himself back in the press box (as a healthy scratch) soon if he continued to coast but he bought himself some time by scoring his first NHL goal, at 12:45 of the second period to knot it at one. Chris Kelly had sent him in alone and he jammed it over the line past Jonas Hiller (21 saves). With the second assist, Ryan Spooner picked up his first point in the NHL.

The B's fell asleep again, late in the second period as Perreault turned and shot low by Rask who might have been screened. Smith-Pelly and Cam Fowler had the assists. Chara's goal came only eight seconds into the power play that he drew (tripping on Patrick Maroon). David Krejci was on the doorstep but he passed it to Chara who shoveled it in, Torey Krug had started the sequence by keeping the puck in Anaheim's end and shuttling it to Krejci-always a good plan.

It was the first overtime game for the Bruins this season and they normally struggle in shootouts but they got it done. Spooner was stopped, Nick Bonino was denied, Iginla scored, Corey Perry was stopped, Soderberg was stuffed and Ryan Getzlaf shot it off the post to end it. Considering the caliber of opponent and the fact that Anaheim had more rest, this was a very nice two points for the Bruins who lost Johnny Boychuk in the second period and had to play with five defensemen for the rest of the game.

Boston finishes this tough couple days (three games in four nights) at the Islanders (4-5-3) on Saturday (7, NESN). Despite their less than impressive record, New York is much improved (they pushed the Penguins to seven games in the first round of the playoffs last spring) but that's usually a place that the Bruins roll and put up big goal totals.

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