Ritchie, Manson lead Ducks past slumping Bruins, 4-2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Kevin Roy and Josh Manson played their college hockey in Boston at Northeastern, and the Anaheim Ducks’ two Huskies couldn’t deny an extra jump in their stride when they got the chance to hurt the Bruins with big goals.
Nick Ritchie and Manson had a goal and an assist apiece, and Roy scored his first NHL goal in the Ducks’ 4-2 victory over slumping Boston on Wednesday night.
Roy played four seasons at Northeastern before turning pro last year. He opened the scoring with his first goal in his third NHL game, slipping into the slot and swatting in a loose puck.
Before the game, Manson said he predicted Roy would get his big goal against the Bruins.
”Playing Boston, I knew he would bring his A game,” Manson said. ”It was awesome. I couldn’t be more happy for him. He’s worked really hard. I’ve seen the progress through college. He’s a goal scorer. It’s the first of many.”
Roy acknowledged ”a little extra motivation” in facing the Bruins. He triumphantly displayed the puck for a team photographer in the dressing room afterward.
”I didn’t see it (go in),” Roy said. ”I just heard the noise and saw the players around me. It just felt awesome. It’s a moment you dream of. Getting the first one is pretty special.”
John Gibson made 39 saves and Antoine Vermette had an assist in his 1,000th NHL appearance as the Ducks won for just the second time in seven games. Derek Grant also scored in Anaheim’s eighth consecutive win over the Bruins.
Danton Heinen and Noel Acciari scored and Tuukka Rask stopped 23 shots for the Bruins, who opened their California road swing with their fourth consecutive loss. Boston had defensive breakdowns, but also couldn’t seem to catch a fortunate bounce at Honda Center.
”They were all kind of broken plays, deflections, so they’re all frustrating,” Rask said. ”We played a decent second period, and we still got down.”
Anaheim had only three shots on goal in the second, but scored twice while taking control of just its fifth win in 12 home games.
Several minutes after Heinen tied it midway through the period with a nifty backhand for his third career goal, Manson alertly flung the puck toward Boston’s crease while skating into the corner. The puck ricocheted off Zdeno Chara’s skate for Manson’s first goal since March 26.
Ritchie then scored his first goal since Oct. 24, tipping home a pass from Vermette shortly before intermission. The power forward had his first multi-point performance since March 28.
Major early-season injury problems have reduced Anaheim and Boston to patchwork replicas of their once-impressive rosters. The remaining Ducks are handling those absences better lately than the Bruins, who have scored more than two goals only twice in their last 10 games.
”I’m not going to use that as an excuse,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. ”We’ve got some young players up front, we know that, but at the back end and our goaltending, there is experience there.”
The Bruins played without key forwards Brad Marchand and Anders Bjork, who both stayed home in Boston with undisclosed injuries. They’ve been ruled out for Thursday’s game in Los Angeles as well.
David Krejci missed his 11th straight game for Boston, but could be close to returning soon. David Backes, Ryan Spooner and Adam McQuaid also are out with long-term injuries.
The Ducks scratched defenseman Hampus Lindholm with a lower-body injury. Anaheim is still without captain Ryan Getzlaf, center Ryan Kesler, defenseman Cam Fowler, goal-scoring forward Patrick Eaves and goalie Ryan Miller.
NOTES: Boston played a penalty-free game, and Anaheim didn’t commit a penalty until 9:08 remained. … Vermette is the 17th active skater to reach 1,000 games. … Bruins forward Matt Beleskey remained scoreless in 13 games this season. The Ducks product signed a $19.8 million, five-year deal with Boston as a free agent in 2015, but has been unable to recapture his goal-scoring form from his final year in Anaheim, when he got 22 regular-season goals and eight more in the playoffs. … Anaheim dressed seven defensemen against Boston, but Korbinian Holzer played right wing on the fourth line.
Bruins: At the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.
Ducks: Host the Florida Panthers on Sunday.
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