This was hardly a textbook win by the Ducks, but there were positives to take from a 5-3 win against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.
Boston’s trademark forecheck gave them issues, and they were fortunate at both ends in the form of a struck post by Boston’s David Krejci and Rickard Rakell’s first goal that was kicked in by goalie Tuukka Rask.
They all count, as they say, as do the two points in the standings for Anaheim.
Here’s what we learned:
Jonathan Bernier needed to get back in net
Bernier was removed Monday after he allowed three goals on six shots against the Arizona Coyotes. But he was more the victim of his defense, and it’s often healthy for a goalie to get back in the net after such a game.
“Those are the types of games that you want to get back as soon as possible and come out strong, and we found a way, as a team, to win tonight,” Bernier said.
No.1 goalie John Gibson was scratched with a lower-body injury, but Bernier might have gotten the start anyway, given the need to rest Gibson after he was forced into Monday’s game.
Bernier was beaten on slap shots by defensemen Matt Carlo and Zdeno Chara and a breakaway by Frank Vatrano. But his 19 saves clinched his ninth win.
“It was a great response from Jonathan Bernier getting back into the net,” Ducks assistant coach Paul MacLean said. “All in all, we’re pretty pleased with how it ended.”
Rakell is quietly climbing the charts
His 24 goals are more than Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and John Tavares of the New York Islanders and one fewer than Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
His seven game-winning goals are tied with Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capital for second in the NHL.
Rakell isn’t nearly the marquee name that those players are but, at 23, he has prolific possibility. He’s on pace for 31 goals, which would be the most by a Ducks player not named Ryan Getzlaf or Corey Perry since Bobby Ryan scored 31 in 2011-12.
Rakell was simply happy to get the bounces in the Ducks’ highest-scoring game since Feb. 9.
“It’s been tough,” Rakell said. “We’ve been creating chances but haven’t been able to score, so scoring in some different ways tonight can help us go forward.”
There is tangible secondary scoring
Technically, Nick Ritchie and Ondrej Kase play on the second line with Getzlaf, so their contributions are expected, but they’ve taken some pressure off the other lines.
The trio combined for a goal and four assists Wednesday. Ritchie has five assists in his past 11 games, and Kase’s goal was his first since Jan. 6.
The Ducks need them to maintain that pace with Antoine Vermette serving a suspension and hardly any offense coming from the fourth line.