|Notes and Observations Week 15: Patriots Blow Out Dolphins 41-13; Clinch AFC East||Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Defense, Special Teams Carry Home Team||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 15||Right Idea? Red Sox Bring in Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson|
The Anaheim Ducks may have taken the word “mighty” out of their team’s name, but against the Bruins on Wednesday night, the Ducks surely were mightier than our hometown team.
Coming back from a 3-2 deficit heading into the final period, Anaheim put a pair of pucks past Boston goalie Tuukka Rask within the first eight minutes of the third. Then, behind some stellar goaltending down the stretch from Jonas Hiller, the Ducks held on to top the Bruins, 4-3, for their fifth straight win. Boston dropped their third straight game in regulation, a streak they haven’t had to endure since December of 2007, when they went pointless in four straight games.
The scoring opened up in the first period when Anaheim’s Dan Sexton wristed one past Rask while on the power play for his seventh goal of the year. Boston would tie it up four minutes into the second on a slapper from captain Zdeno Chara, followed by another goal from the point by defenseman Matt Hunwick a few minutes later that would the Bruins their first lead of the game.
Anaheim would come back to tie the game at two on a Matt Belesky wrister, but before the middle period came to a close, it was Marco Sturm’s 15th goal of the year that would put Boston up 3-2 heading into the final 20 minutes of play. But like so many times before, the Bruins were not able to put in a solid effort for the entire 60 minutes, as the Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf would tie the game up, yet again, within the first two minutes of the third. Then Steve Eminger’s first goal of the year, a tip-in past Rask, would prove to be the game winner.
The Ducks may have won the game, but they did lose a key player in the process. Veteran Teemu Selanne, who had just came back from missing 17 games with a hand injury, took a puck in the face during the game, breaking his jaw (ouch!). Selanne, who was set to play for his native Finland in the upcoming Olympic games in Vancouver next month, will be out of action for at least 4-6 weeks.
For Boston, the road doesn’t get any easier. Thursday, they head north along the Pacific coast to face off with old friend Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks.