BOSTON — The Anaheim Ducks, staring at a third straight loss during a battle for the Presidents’ Trophy and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, found a way to tie Thursday night’s game and then win in overtime.
The Boston Bruins, fighting just to get into the playoffs, felt the Ducks’ 3-2 win was more than tainted.
“There was, no doubt, goalie interference there, and that’s why they talk about reviewing those kinds of goals and coaches’ challenges, because you can’t allow those kinds of goals,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said after Anaheim right winger Corey Perry’s tip-in with 38.5 seconds left in regulation came after contact between Ducks left winger Matt Beleskey and Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask.
“This was a big point we lost tonight on a missed call. Those are the things that are hard to swallow right now.”
The loss was the Bruins’ sixth straight (0-3-3).
Said Rask: “I asked the ref. He said there’s nothing there, so that’s what we go by. I haven’t seen it yet, but somebody took my legs out. I don’t know who it was, but, you know, everybody can make their own mind.”
However, even Rask, beaten by a vicious wrist shot by center Ryan Getzlaf with 1:51 left in overtime, had to tip his helmet to Anaheim’s work ethic in the closing minutes.
In other words, good teams find a way to get it done, albeit sometimes with a little help.
“We played a good hockey team over there, and we battled right until the end,” said Getzlaf, whose 24th of the season came after Perry’s 32nd. “Getting the two at the end is just a reward for that. Either way, it’s a process, and we just want to keep getting better, and I felt we did that tonight.”
The Ducks (47-22-7) improved their total to 101 points and stayed alive in the fight for No. 1.
Despite the loss, the Bruins moved into a tie with the losing Ottawa Senators for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East. Ottawa has a game in hand. The Florida Panthers won and are now three points behind Boston.
After the Bruins killed off a questionable hooking penalty on defenseman Zdeno Chara in overtime, Getzlaf moved in one-on-three and fired his shot over Rask’s glove. Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler, who also assisted on the tying goal, set up the winner.
“Cam just made a good play to the neutral zone, and I knew I had a little bit of space, and generally there I’m waiting to see what Perrs (Perry) is going to do on the outside, and I didn’t have any options, so I shot it,” Getzlaf said.
Goaltender Frederik Andersen made 27 saves for the win as the Ducks rebounded from allowing 12 goals while losing the first two games of their five-game road trip.
The Bruins got power-play goals from rookie center Ryan Spooner and right winger Loui Eriksson to wipe out a 1-0 deficit and take a 2-1 lead 27 seconds into the third period.
David Krejci, back after missing 15 games with a knee injury, assisted on both Boston goals. He shifted over from his normal center spot to play right wing alongside center Patrice Bergeron.
Left winger Patrick Maroon scored the other Anaheim goal.
Rask made 29 saves.
The power-play goals both came with Ducks defenseman Simon Despres in the box. Despres had three minors in the game.
The Bruins came through on the power play for the fourth consecutive game. They are 5-for-12 with the advantage in the four games after going 0-for-14 in the previous four.
The Ducks went 0-for-2 on the power play Thursday and are 3-for-38 with the advantage over the last 16 games. They came in 25th in the league on the power play.