The Boston Bruins have been on the west coast this week, competing against three teams from the Western Conference. With two games down and one to go, the Bruins are looking to collect their first win on the week.
The Bruins came out strong against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Despite a 5-2 loss to the Ducks, the Bruins dictated most of play, outshooting them 32-20. The outcome of the game did not reflect on the Bruins in full. However, there was one aspect that proved to be the crucial marker of the completion of the game.
Special teams proved to be the weak point for the Bruins in the game. Four out five of the Duck’s goals came on a power play.
The first period featured zero goals, but the second period displayed a parade of goals for the Duck’s special teams. Within three minutes, the Duck’s power play scored two goals before scoring a shorthanded goal.
Despite the three goals scored in the second period, the Bruins came back to cut the deficit to one.
Down 3-2 late in the third period, Nick Bonino of the Ducks capitalized on another power play to solidify their victory. Three minutes after, Mathieu Perrault scored the fifth and final goal for the Ducks. This was the only goal scored against the Bruins during even strength. Needless to say, special teams were not ready on Tuesday.
I wish I could have said the same about the Bruins efforts in Los Angeles on Thursday, Jan. 9.
It took the Bruins about one period and a half to wake up and play hockey. Outshot 27-12 heading into the third period, the team needed a huge turnaround fast or else they would face another loss. Down by two, the Bruins finally played to their level of competition until Dustin Brown of the Kings ripped off a snap shot into the back of the net to increase their lead to 4-1.
Justin Florek, a recent call-up made his presence known by scoring his first career NHL goal. Although the goal came late in the game, Florek displayed his talent and ability to compete in the NHL. The Bruins went on to collect a 4-2 loss, increasing their losses against Western Conference teams (like countless Eastern Conference teams).
However, traveling to San Jose proved to be worth the competition on the west coast. The Bruins took on the Sharks for the second time this season, defeating them again, this game of a score 1-0.
Bruins goalie, Tuukka Rask had another outstanding game, adding another win and shutout to his career. He faced a total of 26 shots, while opponent Antti Niemi save 21 of 22 shots.
The goal came late for the Bruins – eight minutes remaining – by Carl Soderberg.
Despite the two difficult losses in the week, the Bruins were able to leave the west coast with a win and a better understanding of what needs to be improved.
The Bruins host the Toronto Maple Leafs for an Atlantic Division game on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 7 p.m.