The Anaheim Ducks celebrated their past Monday but now must return to the current grim reality when they continue a five-game homestand against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. Anaheim has dropped five of six following Sunday’s loss to Tampa Bay, which came on the eve of the Hall of Fame inductions of Teemu Selanne and Paul Kariya.
Although the Ducks suffered a narrow 2-1 loss to the league-best Lightning, coach Randy Carlyle said at Tuesday’s practice he was not happy with the team’s approach. “Our team game has to get better,” Carlyle said. “We played a game we weren’t proud of for the first half of the game against Tampa. We didn’t have the puck enough and we played in awe of them. We don’t want to duplicate that again.” Like Anaheim, the Bruins are dealing with a plethora of injuries and are mired in a slide that has seen them drop three in a row and four of five following a home-and-home sweep by Toronto. “If you keep playing hard, good things will happen,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We can’t start feeling sorry for ourselves if it’s not going our way.”
TV: 10 p.m. ET, Sportsnet360, NESN (Boston), Prime Ticket (Anaheim)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (6-6-4): Cassidy ruled out forwards Brad Marchand and rookie Anders Bjork for the first two games in California, saying both players were nicked up in Saturday’s 4-1 setback to Toronto. There was some positive news on the injury front as center David Krejci, sidelined for the past 10 games with an upper-body injury, practice Tuesday without a non-contact jersey. “We’ll have a better assessment tomorrow, but he felt good today,” Cassidy said of Krejci.
ABOUT THE DUCKS (7-7-3): Forward Jakob Silfverberg established career highs last season with 23 goals and 49 points, but he started the season in a dreadful slump with only four assists through the first 10 games. The 27-year-old Swede has rediscovered his scoring touch since, however, netting five goals in the past seven goals, including three in the past two contests. Ducks goaltender John Gibson, winless in his last four starts, has never faced the Bruins.
1. Anaheim has won the past seven meetings against the Bruins.
2. Boston G Tuukka Rask is 1-5-1 with a 3.56 goals-against average against Anaheim.
3. Ducks C Rickard Rakell had three goals and an assist in two encounters with the Bruins last season.
PREDICTION: Ducks 4, Bruins 2