Ducks aim to start new road streak vs. Bruins

By Mike Shalin, The Sports Xchange
John Gibson and the Anaheim Ducks face off with the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/fd6a0b51019da878435a5f05ea56db9d/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
John Gibson and the Anaheim Ducks face off with the Boston Bruins on Thursday. Photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

BOSTON -- Having fallen one short of matching the franchise record for consecutive road wins, the Anaheim Ducks visit what has been a friendly place for them on Thursday night.

The Ducks, who gave up three third-period goals and lost to the New York Rangers on Tuesday, have won their last four visits to TD Garden -- and have won nine straight overall against the Bruins -- by a count of 37-17.


The Bruins ended a two-game losing streak when Jaroslav Halak pitched a 22-save shutout in a 4-0 win over the Canadiens in Montreal on Monday night.

The Ducks had outscored their opposition 18-4 in their previous 10 third periods before Tuesday.

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"We stopped playing in the third, and they came with a push," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said after the game. "We get kind of a break to get a power play and they score the goal. We set something up and didn't execute it and next thing we know the puck's in our net."


The franchise record for consecutive road wins is seven, run up way back in 2006. Now, they will try to start a new streak as they look for their 10th win in their last 12 games overall.

The Bruins were coming off losses at Pittsburgh and at home to Buffalo when coach Bruce Cassidy held a little meeting.

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As reported by Joe McDonald of The Athletic: "Cassidy didn't call out any individuals. It was simply a matter of 'this is what we need to do in order to win.' The message was to start with a better checking game. Play with a purpose. Be accountable. To a man, the Bruins responded."

And the Bruins, who have battled injuries from the outset, could be getting healthier soon. Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara and Kevan Miller have all been reinstated for practice, Bergeron a full go Wednesday, while Jake DeBrusk and Urho Vaakanainen, both out with concussions, were also skating.

"Don't think he'll play tomorrow. Potential to play this weekend," Cassidy said.

The Ducks had their four-game winning streak snapped by the Rangers, who outshot them 14-1 in the third period after mustering 10 shots in the first two.


Chad Johnson, making his Ducks debut as John Gibson's backup and wearing his St. Louis Blues mask, played well, but not quite well enough.

"He did what he's supposed to do, give us a chance to win," said Ryan Kesler. "We just didn't keep our end of the bargain."

Gibson, who is 15-9-4 on the season, has stopped 65 of 67 shots in beating the Bruins in his only two career starts against them.

With Halak playing Tuesday, his third shutout of the season, the rotation would call for Tuukka Rask to play Thursday. But given the shutout -- Halak's second of the season -- and Rask's 1-6-1 career record (3.62 goals against average and .865 save percentage), Halak could get the call.

Halak is 8-6-1 with 2.80/.899 career numbers against Anaheim.

Talking about Bergeron, out with an upper-body injury, Cassidy said Wednesday, "Bergie skated in a full contact and is feeling better. I don't have a definitive timeline, but he's progressing well and could potentially play this weekend. It's nice just that things run a little bit smoother with guys that have been around. The practice habits, the pace of the drills and the mood of the team (gets lifted). I think that's the biggest thing. Guys know that they're getting close when they're with the rest of the group. That's the biggest noticeable difference with everybody is the jump in the (team's) step."


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