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Ducks

(46-22-7, 99 pts)

Bruins

(36-25-12, 84 pts)

Coverage: NHL

7:00 PM ET, March 26, 2015

TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts

  Points Goals Assists
ANA R Getzlaf 66 C Perry 31 R Getzlaf 43
BOS P Bergeron 51 B Marchand 22 D Hamilton 32
 
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Ducks-Bruins Preview

STATS LLC

The Anaheim Ducks have gotten off to a poor start to their road trip as they battle for home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs.

The Boston Bruins' situation is considerably more dire, as a five-game losing streak has put their postseason chances in serious jeopardy.

Anaheim tries to avoid a third straight loss when it visits increasingly desperate Boston on Thursday night.

The Ducks (46-22-7) are jockeying with St. Louis (99 points) and Nashville (98) for the top seed in the Western Conference, and they're one point back of Montreal for the NHL lead.

Anaheim, though, gave up 12 goals in back-to-back losses to the New York Rangers and Columbus to begin a five-game trip, leaving them at 1-4-0 in their last five road games.

Frederik Andersen was pulled for John Gibson in the first period of Sunday's 7-2 loss to New York after giving up three goals on seven shots. Gibson, who gave up four on 22, was then beaten four times on 26 shots in a 5-3 defeat to the Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

The Ducks, who squandered leads of 2-0 and 3-2 in that contest, rank 22nd in the NHL with 2.75 non-shootout goals allowed per game.

"What we're doing and how we're playing right now is not acceptable," said forward Corey Perry, who has a team-high 31 goals. "We're going to change that in our locker room. We're pretending. We're not playing hockey to the best of our abilities."

They continue to have major issues in the second period, getting outscored 3-1 by Columbus and 21-5 in their last nine losses. Anaheim ranks 28th in the league with a minus-23 differential in the second.

Special teams has been a weakness of late as well. The Ducks have allowed seven power-play goals on 23 chances over the last seven games while their power play is in the midst of a longer slump, with four goals in 45 opportunities over the last 20.

The Bruins (36-25-12) have been a streaky team all season, though they've chosen a particularly inopportune time for their latest slump. They had won seven of eight before this 0-3-2 slide -- one loss shy of their season-worst skid set Feb. 8-20.

Looking like a solid bet to make the playoffs last month, the Bruins have been passed by Ottawa -- 15-1-1 in its last 17 -- for the second wild-card spot. The Senators have won seven straight, with one of those victories coming by a 6-4 score over Boston last Thursday, and have a game in hand.

The Bruins haven't missed the playoffs under Claude Julien, who took over in 2007-08.

"If we go out and play well for these nine games, then good things will happen," center Chris Kelly told the team's official website. "We've got a good group here and I feel confident in our group."

Like Andersen, Tuukka Rask is coming off a rough outing, getting pulled in the second period of a 5-3 loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday after allowing four goals on 12 shots. He gave up five goals in the defeat to Ottawa, and is 1-3-0 with a 3.46 GAA in four starts against the Ducks.

Julien announced Tuesday that defenseman Dougie Hamilton, second on the team with 42 points, is out indefinitely after leaving Saturday's road loss to Florida with a shoulder injury. Center David Krejci could return after missing the last 15 games with a partially torn MCL.

Anaheim won the first meeting with Boston 3-2 on Dec. 1.

 

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