Bruins

BSJ Game Report: Bruins 3, Ducks 1 — Multiple milestones highlight convincing win over Anaheim

Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Ducks in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:

BOX SCORE

HEADLINES

Milestones a plenty: Along with two points on the night, a number of Bruins skaters also crossed off some significant career milestones against the Ducks. With a crisp, no-look feed that set up David Pastrnak for the game’s opening tally, Torey Krug reached 200 career assists. A nice number, for sure. But the helper also pushed Krug past Mike O’Connell in the record books for the most assists in franchise history from a US-born player. Not too bad. David Backes earned the secondary assist on Pastrnak’s tally, giving him 300 career assists.

The B’s were not done, as David Krejci’s one-time bomb in the third period stood as his seventh goal of the season and the 600th point in his NHL career. Krejci, who passed Cam Neely on the B’s all-time scoring list earlier this season, now sits just six points away from tying Terry O’Reilly for ninth place in the Bruins’ points leaderboard.

Power play turning the corner: Thursday was shaping up to be a snoozefest — with both the Ducks and Bruins in the bottom 25 in the league in terms of goals per game. And for the first 20 minutes — that was pretty much validated, with both teams combining for 10 scoring chances and three high-danger chances in the stanza. Yawn.

Anaheim lives for surrendering low-percentage attempts (.919 team save percentage despite 1,253 shots allowed), but that strategy goes out the window when you’re down a skater against a potent power play.

Operating at a sluggish 13.7 percent clip in December, Boston’s power play finally started to gel on Thursday — with Pastrnak one-timing home his 22nd goal of the year before Krug added his own off under 10 minutes later to put the game out of reach. 

Boston’s offense hasn’t been pretty for most of the season, but getting that power play running back at an efficient rate will do wonders for a club still looking to find consistency during 5v5 play.

THREE UP

Torey Krug: Boston’s top offensive weapon on the blue line continues to stay red hot. Krug finished with a goal and an assist on the power play Thursday — giving him 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) in his past 14 games. That no-look pass alone on Pastrnak’s opening tally would be enough to lock him into this spot.

Penalty kill: The Ducks are certainly no offensive juggernaut, ranking 29th in the league in goals per game (2.53) entering Thursday’s tilt. Still, Anaheim does boast some strong weapons on the man advantage, especially with a big body like Ryan Getzlaf in the middle. But a great showing from Boston’s PK prevented Anaheim from generating any sort of momentum in the B’s zone, with the Ducks only landing three shots on goal during 7:57 of TOI during 5v4 play. Impressive stuff.

Jaroslav Halak: Getting the nod in net for the second game in a row, Halak rewarded the B’s with another strong showing — highlighted by a pair of remarkable stops in the second period. With Boston on the PK, Halak picked a good time for his best save in his brief tenure as a Bruin so far, robbing Brandon Montour with a slick glove save. Just a few minutes later, Halak answered the call once again — denying Ondrej Kase with a post-to-post pad save. He finished with 24 saves on the night.

Fourth Line: Ho hum — another great showing from the Acciari line tonight, especially in terms of limiting a top line matched up against them. During the 5:36 of 5v5 play in which Noel Acciari was matched up against Getzlaf, Boston held a 7-2 edge in attempts and a 3-0 lead in shots on goal.

ONE DOWN:

College Line: Not much doing from the Bruins’ third line of Ryan Donato, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson and Danton Heinen on Thursday. During 9:13 of 5v5 play in which Donato was out on the ice together with JFK, Boston was out-attempted, 12-6, and outshot, 7-2.

PLAY OF THE GAME:

What a stop by Halak on a prime scoring bid for Montour. 

PARTING THOUGHT:

LOOKING AHEAD:

The Bruins will continue their brief, two-game homestand on Saturday — with the club set to host the Nashville Predators in a matinee matchup. Puck drop is set for 1 p.m. Nashville is currently in a tie with Winnipeg and Calgary for the most points in the Western Conference with 46 through 35 games played.