No, not just yet...even though they are currently outside the playoff picture because of the hot streak of the Ottawa Senators.
Although the regular season is dwindling down to its final two weeks, the Boston Bruins have gone from having aspirations of making the playoffs to praying for a miracle. However, no one should feel sorry for them.
They still have a fighting chance. David Krejci was supposed to return at some point during that three-game road trip. The coaching staff must have felt that the time was not right, so they held him out until Thursday's game against the Anaheim Ducks. After he notches a few games back from injury, then we can get a better understanding of where this team is going. Brett Connolly is also close to making his team debut after taking part in the morning skate for the first time since breaking his finger in his second practice with the team.
With that being said, the Ducks are always one of those teams that play a heavy game. Perhaps a stiff test is not exactly what this team was hoping for with the way things have gone since losing five in a row. Let's see what the three off days did for this team.
Dougie Hamilton will be out of the lineup indefinitely due to an upper-body injury, another huge blow for this team. Get used to seeing Zach Trotman a lot more in the coming games. Tuukka Rask continued his impressive workload on Thursday as well.
Although the first period was scoreless, it was certainly physical and chippy. There were two separate four-on-four opportunities due to matching slashing penalties. No one ever said that the Ducks would back down; they are the top team in the Western Conference. The Bruins looked lazy at times, especially when they did get the puck into the offensive zone. All in all, a pretty evenly matched opening 20 minutes. For what it is worth, boy was it strange seeing Krejci skate on the wing.
In the second period, both teams picked up some momentum. Rask was huge for the B's early on in the period, but thanks to a defensive letdown, the Ducks got on the board first thanks to Patrick Maroon. That did not last long as Ryan Spooner netted a power-play goal to even things up. Boston had plenty of chances with the man advantage on this night and they capitalized on 50% of those opportunities (two-for-four).
To make things even more promising, Boston kicked off the scoring in the third period with one of those power-play tallies. Loui Eriksson was the goal scorer, his 19th of the season. With the pressure that the Ducks put on since that point, it was just a matter of time that they would net the equalizer. Corey Perry tipped a shot past Rask with seconds left in regulation.
Sure enough, Ryan Getzlaf blasted the game winner over the glove of Rask. The top guns of Anaheim took down the Bruins on this night. They fell by a score of 3-2 in overtime. Krejci posted two assists in his return game. With the overtime loss and accumulating one point on Thursday, the Bruins are now tied in points with Ottawa for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
Boston will play its final weekend back-to-back of the year in the coming days. The New York Rangers and the Carolina Hurricanes will be on the slate.
Gold Star: Torey Krug...He had such a solid night. He pushed the puck up ice when necessary, but was physical and aggressive in all three zones.
Black Star: Matt Bartkowski...He had a couple of decent moments, but he was struggling for most of the night. He is usually a good skater, but he was flat-footed on several occasions and was responsible for the first goal allowed.
Game Seventy-Four Box Score