Playing their second game of a back-to-back, the Boston Bruins could have made plenty of excuses against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Bruins came out flat in the opening 20 minutes firing just one shot on Anaheim Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller. They picked up the pace in the second and gained momentum on Carl Soderberg’s first career goal, but their momentum was halted by Mathieu Perrault’s fifth of the season with 20 seconds left in the middle stanza.
But the Black and Gold did not give up, and after a strong third they were finally rewarded when David Krejci found Zdeno Chara to tie things up at 2-2. Jarome Iginla netted the only goal of the shootout and the Bruins found themselves on the right end of a 3-2 final in front of 17,565 at the TD Garden.
Here are three takeaways from the Bruins’ come from behind victory:
Not perfect, but they’ll take it
Certainly, the B’s were not perfect in this one, and their first period performance could very well have affected them. And even though they played well enough for the win, they are still looking for a complete 60-minute effort.
There’s still some kinks that need work, but Claude Julien and company were still very upbeat about the gutsy performance.
“It wasn’t our best performance,” said the Bruins bench boss. “But at the end of the day, I’m going to give us some credit for the way we gutted it out.”
As the old adage says, a win is a win. And, while it wasn’t pretty, the B’s are still satisfied with the two points.
Spooner gets call, impresses in first game
Just 12 short hours prior to Thursday’s contest, Ryan Spooner was preparing to make final preparations at practice for the Providence Bruins’ weekend slate. Twelve-plus hours later, he is on a line with Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly.
The third line has been a revolving door during the first few weeks of the season, and it again had a different look on Thursday when Chris Kelly moved to wing to make room for Spooner. But the new-look line, including Spooner, certainly impressed.
Spooner made the most of his 12:22 of ice time. With his blazing speed, Spooner beat out a hybrid icing call to set the B’s up with their first goal of the game. The youngster set up Chris Kelly on the Ducks end of the ice and from there tipped it to Carl Soderberg (scoring his first NHL goal) and notched his first career NHL point.
Not bad for a guy who got the first attempt in the shootout – in just his fifth career game.
“Yeah, I was preparing to go to practice [with Providence] and got the call at 7 am and I got the good news,” Spooner said about being called up. “I just tried to play my game without being tedious out there. I just wanted to play my game and go from there.”
To cap it all off, Spooner drew an interference call midway through the first and served a high-sticking penalty 53 seconds into the third. The Bruins needed some energy coming off their loss Wednesday night in Pittsburgh, and he certainly provided that.
Krejci picking up right where he left off
After an impressive showing in last year’s postseason, Krejci is picking up right where he left off.
Since being named the third alternate captain before the start of the regular season, Krejci is taking off. In 12 games this month, the 27-year old forward has 13 points (2 goals, 11 assists) including 11 points in his last nine games.
Krejci showed his magic again late when he found Chara in front on the Bruins’ second power play and tied the game at 17:10 of the third. It was just another example of Krejci’s poise and leadership coming through in the clutch.
“We need our players to play well, but we need our leaders to be our leaders, and I think David has done that,” Julien said about Krejci. “And it was a great play on his part to make that pass to Zdeno.”
For obvious reasons, the Bruins took a back seat to the Red Sox during their run to the World Series. But after an 8-4-0 mark in the first month, the B’s can slowly make their way back to the front page with 70 games left in the 2013-14 season.