Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara, top, of Slovakia, gets checked by Anaheim Ducks right wing Todd Bertuzzi during the first period.
Recap Anaheim, CA -- The Boston Bruins fell to the Anaheim Ducks, 2-1,in a tightly contested hockey game Wednesday night at the Honda Center.
Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin scored the game winner with less than seven minutes remaining in regulation to make Tim Thomas (28 saves) the tough-luck loser in his second start of the season. Winger Chuck Kobasew scored the lone Boston goal.
"I thought the effort was there, for the most part" said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "Where we failed...was when we stopped putting the puck deep on these guys.
"That's what we needed to do all night.
"And we kind of played into their plans that way," he said.
On Wednesday morning, the Bruins arrived in Anaheim, California to take on the third leg of their five game road trip and take on the Ducks -- the 2007 Stanley Cup Champions. A full house of fans and a banner raising ceremony also stood in the way of a second win on the young season and a 2-game winning streak for the Black & Gold.
The Bruins Thomas took the net for Boston and had a 1-0 cushion only 1:05 into the game. That pillow came courtesy of Boston's Kobasew. The former BC Eagle made an outstanding individual move along the left side of the Anaheim zone and beat the Ducks goalie, Ilya Bryzgalov, all off of a nifty pass from Glen Metropolit.
Despite Boston's early goal, neither team took complete control of the game. And thanks to strong goaltending at both ends of the ice, the Bruins went to the break in the lead, 1-0.
"I thought we executed our game plan the way we wanted (to)," said Julien of the first period. "We moved the puck, quick, out of our own end. We wanted to get the puck in deep. We wanted to create some forecheck.
"(And) I thought we did a good job in the neutral zone (creating) turnovers"
Boston killed an early penalty in the second period and continued to play sound defense through most of the session. But an uncharacteristic B's failure to clear the zone during a mid-period 4-on-4 situation, coupled with a bouncing puck, which led to a difficult-to-control rebound, led to a Ryan Getzlaf goal, and a 1-1 game, at 10:52.
The Black & Gold killed off a late penalty and the teams hit the second intermission knotted at 1-1.
"It was one of those tight games," explained Julien. "When you are in those kind of games, you tell yourself, the team that makes the next mistake is (going to lose)."
Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry, left, celebrates the winning goal by teammate Francois Beauchemin as Boston Bruins goalie Tim Thomas, left center, David Krejci (46), of the Czech Republic, and defenseman Andrew Alberts (41) look at the puck in the goal in the third period.
Nothing changed through the first half of the final stanza as both teams kept their opponent's scoring chances in check. However, with less than seven minutes to go Anaheim did enjoy a near 2-to-1 lead in shots (27-14), and began to drive the net frequently as the clock clicked down on the contest.
Anaheim took advantage of their possession time in the Boston zone, won a face off, kept the puck in at the blue line and Beauchemin scored at 13:35 to make the score 2-1, Ducks.
"We lost the draw," said Julien. "And when you lose the draw, certainly, that's not a good sign."
Bryzgalov barred the door late in the period, but finished with only 18 saves.
"We are trying to play tight D," said Boston's head coach. "But I think we need to get some more scoring chances."
Boston falls to 1-2-0 on the season. They face Los Angeles on Friday.