Boston Bruins: Talking Points of B’s 3-2 loss in Anaheim.

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December 1, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing

Brad Marchand

(63) moves the puck against the Anaheim Ducks during the third period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins were hoping to have a solid start to the California road trip. The Anaheim Ducks were in the same boat as the Bruins, and it was going to be a defensive minded game. Once again, the Boston Bruins had a strong opening period. Once again, the Bruins had a rough go of it in the second. The Bruins came back strong in the third period, but the Ducks had just had better luck with their chances. The Bruins lost the first game of the road trip, falling to the Ducks 3-2.

David Pastrnak. The Bruins forward earned his first career NHL point off the Marchand goal which gave the Bruins a brief 1-0 lead. Pastrnak attempted to get a pass to Milan Lucic, but by a deflection it ended up on Marchand’s stick. Marchand easily got it past Frederik Andersen. It was a nice goal, and a solid effort by the eighteen year old. It was only his third career game, and he was one of the better Bruins on the ice tonight.

Bad Luck Bart. It’s often a tale of two Bartkowskis. He can be the best of players, and he can be his own worst enemy. He also has just unlucky things happen to him. Tonight was no exception. He was a -2 for the night, and was on the ice for Anaheim’s first two goals. In defense of Bartkowski, a penalty could have been called against Anaheim as Devante Smith-Pelly was holding his stick just before he got the deflection past Tuukka Rask. That last minute goal took the wind of the Bruins sails, and Bartkowski’s game never fully recovered.

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Missed Chances. “I think the chances were there,” B’s forward Chris Kelly said after the game. “You need to look at the positives when you are having difficulty scoring goals and having the mindset of putting the puck to the net. I thought we did that well tonight. There were a few chances that the pucks were laying around. We had some good opportunities. Their goalie played well.”

It just came down to the Bruins not capitalizing on their power plays. The B’s also had chances while on the penalty kill.  Both Daniel Paille and Patrice Bergeron had solid chances shorthanded. Paille’s shot only found iron, and Bergeron missed an open side.   Joe Morrow had an out of the box breakaway, but got stopped by Anderson who was having a rather great game for Anaheim. The Ducks goalie deservedly earned his First Star Honors.

Patrice Bergeron. I have to wonder if Bergeron is playing hurt and hasn’t bothered to tell anyone. The Bergeron magic just wasn’t there tonight. He didn’t have a terrible game (six shots, three hits, and two blocks), but it just seems Bergy isn’t playing to his usual ‘all world’ level. He was under fifty percent in the faceoff circle, and that’s certainly unusual for him.

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  • The Merlot Line. The Fourth Line was one of the better lines out there for Boston tonight. They were a +3 for the evening, and were there for both goals for Boston. Daniel Paille and Gregory Campbell played like it was 2011 again. Campbell was playing like Bergeron in the faceoff circle, winning nearly seventy percent of his draws.  Simon Gagne earned his six hundredth career point with his third period goal. In a night full of let downs, the Merlot Line showed that the 2014-15 vintage was starting to taste good again.

    “They played solid. I had them against Getzlaf at times, too, and there was no issues there, they held their own. And at the same time, they’re starting to find each other really well on the ice and they’re becoming an offensive threat as well. That was probably one of our top two lines [in Anaheim].” Claude Julien on the Campbell line

    Loui Eriksson. It’s completely understandable to give Eriksson a pass last season. He suffered two serious concussions, and it certainly derailed him from his game. This year he has three goals in twenty five games. He’s only put in two points(both assists) in the last five. He seems to be the weak link on the new Soderberg line.  (No, this isn’t a pining for the return of Tyler Seguin moment.) He was a -2 tonight with only a single shot on goal. It’s been a disappointing season for him, and I wonder if he’ll end up watching a game from the ninth level in the near future?

    The Bruins will have to move on quickly as they take on the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings later tonight.