On a night when the World Series trophy was carried onto the ice, the Bruins gave Boston sports fans one more reason to cheer.
Zdeno Chara scored the tying goal on a power play with under 3 minutes remaining in regulation and Jarome Iginla had the lone goal in a shootout to rally the Bruins past the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Thursday.
"It’s a sports city, clearly," said Chris Kelly, who had an assist and was wearing a World Series championship T-shirt after the game. "The crowd here is always awesome. Halloween night, a lot of people might decide to take their kids trick-or-treating. But not in Boston. They’re here."
And they witnessed another win for the home team.
Bruins players came out for warmups wearing World Series caps, and the crowd got into it midway through the second period when Boston Red Sox highlights from their clinching win over the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night at Fenway Park were shown on the JumboTron.
Bruins team President Cam Neely and Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino then came onto the ice and held the World Series trophy high above their heads.
During the timeout, Kelly instantly noticed the trophy.
"I wouldn’t mind getting a picture with it," he said.
Carl Soderberg scored his first NHL goal and Tuukka Rask made 21 saves for the Bruins, who mustered only one shot in the first period but still managed to snap a two-game skid.
"I think we have a lot of competitive guys and when you’re down, that desperation level kicks in," said defenseman Torey Krug, who also had an assist. "We’ve got to do a better job of starting games out."
Devante Smith-Pelly scored less than 2 minutes into the game, Mathieu Perreault had a goal and an assist and Jonas Hiller stopped 21 shots for the Ducks. But they went 0 for 4 on the power play, dropping the league’s worst unit to 7.3 percent (4 for 55).
Anaheim was on the verge of its fourth straight victory until Patrick Maroon’s tripping penalty with 2:58 left in the third period gave Boston late life.
"That’s three games in a row that we’ve taken a penalty in the last 2 minutes of the game," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said.
It didn’t take long for the Bruins to capitalize.
David Krejci scooped up a loose puck just outside the crease and slid a pass through the legs of defenseman Cam Fowler that Chara easily slipped past Hiller with 2:50 to go, setting off a celebration in the stands.
Iginla then put Boston ahead in the shootout with his wrist shot over Hiller’s glove. After Rask turned aside two weak attempts by the Ducks, Ryan Getzlaf hit the crossbar to end the game.
"They didn’t have a shot on goal in the first period until the 18-minute mark," Boudreau said. "But if you don’t score, eventually a really good team is going to come up and bite you and that’s what happened."
After scoring the game-winner with 0.8 seconds left last Thursday to stun the San Jose Sharks, the Bruins gave up a pair of late goals in each of their previous two games, including two power-play tallies 23 seconds apart in a setback to New Jersey on Saturday.
Despite the buzz in the building Thursday following Boston’s third World Series title in the last 10 years, the Bruins got off to a slow start.
A slap shot by Chara more than 18 minutes into the game was Boston’s lone shot of the first period. Anaheim had five shots, but needed only one to score.
Smith-Pelly got his first goal of the season 1:52 into the game to give the Ducks a quick lead.
After the World Series trophy came out, the Bruins picked up their play. They tied the score minutes later when Soderberg broke in alone on Hiller and slipped the puck between his legs for his first career goal.
"It means a lot to me," Soderberg said. "I’ve been playing in Europe for 10 years at the highest level there, but it’s still not the NHL. I came here at 28 years old, so I wanted to see if I could play in the NHL.
"I’m pretty glad I scored."
Perreault’s fifth goal put the Ducks back on top with 20.9 seconds remaining in the second. After winning a faceoff in the Bruins zone, Perreault corralled a pass inside the circle just seconds later, spun to his right and slid a shot by Rask’s right leg.
"That goal in the last 20 seconds of the second would probably have broken a lot of teams’ backs. It didn’t break ours," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "I’d rather give my team credit for this one than say we’re fortunate.
"For us to come out here and play a great game and then battle right until the end and win this against a team that was fresh and waiting for us here, if anything, I would say that’s a real gutsy effort on our part."
NOTES: The Bruins recalled C Ryan Spooner from Providence of the AHL and he got his first NHL point when he assisted on Soderberg’s goal. He also missed the first shot of the shootout. … The Ducks played without forward Teemu Selanne, expected to miss two weeks after losing four teeth and receiving 40 stitches in his mouth following a high stick in a victory over Philadelphia on Tuesday. The 43-year-old ranks second on the active scoring list with 1,437 points and plans to retire after the season. … Boston’s one shot in the first was its fewest in a period since getting just one in the third period of a win over New Jersey on Jan. 5, 2008. … It was Boston’s first overtime game this season, and Anaheim’s third.