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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Insert Applicable Line from "The Mighty Ducks (1-3)" Here

If you missed the game and you just see the score or a few highlights (mostly Anaheim's) at some point tomorrow, you'd think that the Bruins got run over tonight in a 5-2 loss at the Honda Center. The truth is that Boston (28-13-2) played an excellent first period but couldn't score, gave up three power special teams goals and trailed 3-0 before rallying to make it 3-2.

However, from there Anaheim (32-8-5) did what championship teams (or at least ones with those lofty expectations) do: they crushed the B's with two late goals. Oh, the Ducks are now the team with the most points in the NHL (yes even more than Chicago) and they remained unbeaten at home (18-0-2) this entire season. I know they play in the West Coast and a lame market but it's time to start paying attention to this wagon.

The B's were already an underdog before Milan Lucic was a late scratch with the flu. I guess he just can't handle that beautiful California weather. That meant that Boston chose to use seven defensemen rather than the usual six. Turns out, that completely backfired.

Trust me when I say that Jonas Hiller (30 saves) stood on his head in the first period as Boston outshot Anaheim 16-3. His best stop was robbing Brad Marchand with a fantastic glove save. For some reason, the Bruins typically go to sleep in the second period and this night was no different as Mathieu Perreault and Corey Perry scored power play goals (that Tuukka Rask had no chance on) then Andrew Cogliano had a shorthanded goal after a wretched turnover by Reilly Smith manning the point during a Bruins man advantage (can't remember him doing that before).

I'm sure many that had stayed up in frozen New England at that point turned it off and boy did they miss so much! Seriously though, the B's actually made it a game for a while. Daniel Paille scored on a backhander with 16 seconds left in the second, cutting it to 3-1. Justin Florek (1st NHL point) and Gregory Campbell each had assists.

An even more unlikely source provided the second goal for Boston as Dougie Hamilton used screens by Jarome Iginla and Carl Soderberg to beat Hiller at 7:19. Hamilton's fourth goal of the season gave the Bruins hope for approximately 6:04, that is until BU product Nick Bonino scored Anaheim's third power play goal. The Ducks sealed it with another tally from Perreault (3 of his 9 goals this season have come in 2 games vs. Boston).

The middle game of Boston's tour in the Golden State is actually the most winnable: Thursday vs. Kings (26-13-5, 3rd in Pacific Division). Jonathan Quick is back but the Kings are just 4-5-1 in their last 10 games. It sounds like Lucic should be able to play which would be a big help (no pun intended) against a grinding team that plays a similar style to the B's.

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