We all had a feeling that this would happen soon enough. It seems as if the schedule might be starting to take an early toll on the Boston Bruins.
They were riding a two-game losing streak and they were playing on back-to-back nights for the second consecutive week. The Bruins still had seven wins on the year going into Thursday night, but it is always a concern if a losing streak occurs.
Their rough stretch did not get any easier as they closed out the week against some pretty solid opponents. They returned home on Halloween night to play host to the Anaheim Ducks, one of the best teams in the Western Conference.
Prior to the game, it was announced that Ryan Spooner was recalled from Providence to join the Bruins roster. He replaced Jordan Caron in the lineup. The goaltender match-up was Tuukka Rask vs. Jonas Hiller.
In this game, the Bruins started out incredibly slow as far as the shots on net were concerned. On a night where Carl Soderberg recorded his first-career NHL goal, the B's got the full two points in a shootout win against Anaheim. They were out-shot 5-1 in the opening period and never held the lead in regulation. With the help of some solid goaltending and timely goals, however, the Bruins pulled this one out.
After a hard-fought game on Thursday, the Bruins hit the road again for an Eastern Conference match-up against the New York Islanders. This was the first time that the Bruins skated against Thomas Vanek since being traded to the Isles from the Buffalo Sabres.
In this game, Chad Johnson made his second start in goal as a member of the Bruins. Also, Matt Bartkowski was in the lineup for this one as he replaced Johnny Boychuk. He is listed as day-to-day with a minor injury.
The Bruins played great for 40 minutes. Unfortunately, there are 60 minutes in a hockey game and they took the second period off. The Islanders beat Johnson for three goals during that time. The B's did manage to grab a power play goal, but that was not enough as they fell to the Islanders by a score of 3-1.
The Bruins will play their next game on Tuesday night in one of the most anticipated contests of the season. They will take on the Dallas Stars.
Gold Star: Carl Soderberg...With a goal and several other scoring chances over the last couple of games, the Swedish forward is starting to come into his own as a Bruin and as a winger.
Black Star: Reilly Smith...Where is the consistency? He has not strung together some decent games in a long time. He needs to be able to finish better at the offensive side of the ice.