BRUINS 4, MIGHTY DUCKS 3
Bruins double pleasure
Their latest rally is mighty impressive
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Mike Knuble was reunited on the Bruins' top line with center Joe Thornton and right wing Glen Murray against Los Angeles Saturday night and he scored the winning goal. He then said he hoped coach Mike Sullivan would come to the conclusion he deserves to be there.
Last night, Knuble further strengthened his case. He tallied twice against the Mighty Ducks, and Sergei Samsonov scored at 4:08 of overtime to lift Boston to another come-from-behind, 4-3 victory. The Bruins have won three in a row and are 3-1-1-0 on a six-game trip that concludes tomorrow night in Colorado.
Two nights, two comebacks. The way they're winning might not help Sullivan's blood pressure but he'll take the results.
"We knew we were going to play a hungry team that was looking for their first win," said Sullivan, whose foe came in 0-4. "That team really played us hard all night. Coming off an emotional win in LA, we knew this was going to be a big challenge for us."
After a scoreless opening period, the second featured a flurry of goals. The Bruins, who dug themselves a hole a night earlier against the Kings by taking a rash of foolish penalties that caused Sullivan to blow his stack, got into trouble again at the end of the first. Thornton was assessed a two-minute minor for unsportsmanlike conduct for yapping at the officials at the 20-minute mark, giving the Ducks a power play to start the second.
"It's frustrating," said Thornton, who felt interference infractions weren't being called. "I know what a hold is and I think people in the stands know what a hold is and I think we just have different opinions of what a hold is."
With one second remaining on the man advantage, Steve Rucchin scored. It was the first time in three starts that Andrew Raycroft had given up a goal in the first 40 minutes.
That started a run of five goals scored in a span of less than nine minutes. Brian Rolston potted his fourth of the season (and fourth in three games) when he scored at even strength at 4:09 to tie it. The next two belonged to the Ducks with Vaclav Prospal scoring at 4:24 and Rucchin converting on a power play at 8:34.
But a sloppy line change helped Boston pull within one. Knuble got the puck from defenseman Nick Boynton and skated in on a breakaway. He switched from his forehand to his backhand and beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere inside the left post at 10:31 for his second goal of the season and second in two games.
In the third, Boston had a chance for a power play when Anaheim defenseman Ruslan Salei drilled Thornton head first into the boards behind the Ducks' net with 4:52 left. It would've been the team's first man advantage of the game but Boynton came racing in to defend his captain and was assessed an instigator penalty, nullifying the power play. Thornton said he wasn't hurt.
"He just kind of got me weird," said Thornton. "But I was tired, too, so I just kind of laid there for a little bit to be honest. I was a little pooped out."
Boynton, who headed for the dressing room, said he was a little chagrined at what he did.
"It was a really bad time to do it," he said. "But I honestly thought Joe was hurt. That's really all that makes the decision. It looked bad and the way I saw it, it looked really bad and that was that. It was a split-second decision and I thought it was a lot worse than it ended up turning out to be but I didn't know that at the time."
"I'm not sure if it was the right thing to do," said the coach. "In that instance, I admire his courage and his willingness to stick up for his teammates but obviously, that's something where we want to make sure we can control our emotions and use that to our advantage."
Eight seconds later, though, the Bruins went on the power play when defenseman Niclas Havelid hooked Samsonov. Rucchin turned the puck over to Thornton, who fed Knuble. Knuble took a shot from the high slot that eluded Giguere to tie the game at 3-3 with 4:25 left in regulation. No one was happier than Boynton.
"I got in here and put a towel over my head and hid," he said. "I heard guys yelling when [Knuble] scored so it saved my butt a little bit."
In overtime, Samsonov benefited from Prospal's turnover, caused by Jeff Jillson, and beat Giguere with 52 seconds left.
"That's two nights in a row we've put in a pretty gutsy effort on the road," said Raycroft, who made 26 stops and improved his record to 2-0-1. "It feels pretty good to win. I think we learned a lesson [Saturday night]. We got away with it but I think we learned a big lesson early in the first and I don't think it's going to happen again. I think the guys realize we have to be disciplined to win and it showed tonight."
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