A loss is a loss, but all things considered, Monday night could have gone much worse for the Bruins.
Playing one of the NHL‘s biggest and best teams in the first game of a four-game western swing, the Bruins came out and held their own against the Ducks with an especially strong first period, solid special teams work throughout and even a big night from the embattled Gregory Campbell line.
After falling behind, 3-1, five minutes into the third period the B’s pushed back hard with Simon Gagne’s second goal of the season but were unable to find the equalizer en route to a 3-2 regulation loss.
The lack of points from the performance should undoubtedly leave the Bruins with a bad taste in their mouths, but Monday’s game showed that, without Zdeno Chara and David Krejci, the B’s can still measure up pretty well against one of the league’s top teams.
The Bruins will play the second leg of perhaps their toughest back-to-back of the season when they face the Kings Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
Tuukka Rask made 25 saves on 28 shots faced. The loss was Boston’s third in the last four games (1-2-1).
Here are four more things we learned Monday:
PASTRNAK GETS HIS FIRST POINT
David Pastrnak stayed on Patrice Bergeron‘s line and got power play time in his third NHL game. With it came his first career point, as his power play unit stayed in the offensive zone at the expiration of an Andrew Cogliano penalty and a Pastrnak threw a puck on net that yielded a rebound that Brad Marchand converted into the first goal of the game.
Trotman got the secondary assist on the goal, as he manned the other point of the power play unit with Torey Krug.
Pastrnak had one shot on goal Monday, a far cry from his team-leading seven on Friday against the Jets.
BARTKOWSKI HELD UP
Matt Bartkowski has had plenty of reason to be frustrated when pucks have gone past him and in this season, but on Monday the frustration wasn’t with himself.
Devante Smith-Pelly held Bartkowski’s stick in front of Rask during a Ducks possession late in the second period. Despite Bartkowski signaling to the official that he couldn’t make a play, the obstruction went uncalled as Cam Fowler fired a shot that would go off Smith-Pelly and in.
CLAUDE JULIEN HAS A LOT OF FAITH IN GREGORY CAMPBELL‘S LINE
Seth Griffith was a healthy scratch as Claude Julien opted to keep Simon Gagne in the lineup. Gagne, who has made minimal impact since the Bruins signed him, stayed on Gregory Campbell‘s line with Daniel Paille. It turned out that Julien would need that line.
Road teams obviously don’t always get the matchups they want, so whether by design or otherwise, Campbell’s line played an awful lot against Ryan Getzlaf’s line with Corey Perry and Matt Beleksey. The trio held their own against Getzlaf’s line and had a very strong shift early in the second period against Ryan Kesler‘s line on which which Paille nearly scored.
Julien’s faith in the line really showed when he put the trio out following a Ducks icing midway through the third period and Paille fed Gagne in front to bring the B’s within a goal. The goal was Gagne’s 600th career point.
Julien told reporters over the weekend that Kevan Miller was dinged up in Friday’s game, and though he practiced on Sunday, the B’s kept him out of the lineup against the Ducks.
Miller has played in just 10 games this season, as a dislocated shoulder suffered in a fight cost him a month earlier in the season. He Had played in four games since returning to the lineup.