The Boston Bruins have been inclining the correct way for some time.
Jaroslav Halak is beginning to round into form again.
Halak made 30 saves in his fourth shutout of the season, and the Bruins beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-0 on Friday night for their fourth successive triumph.
“It’s a team effort all the time,” Halak said. “Like anytime we win a game or I get a shutout, it has to be everybody on the same page and I think tonight we were for 95 percent of it, and that makes you successful. We opened up the trip on the right note.”
Noel Acciari and Jake DeBrusk scored for the Bruins, who have earned something like a point in nine back to back games. Chris Wagner included a void netter with 1:31 remaining.
Halak has won back to back begins since a 1-4-2 extend amid which he allowed 23 goals. Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy attributed the rough patch to the defense’s inability to clear traffic from in front of the net and give the Slovakian goalie a chance to see the puck.
“He had a real hot streak at the start, cooled off a little,” Cassidy said. “A product of both those streaks is usually the team in front of you. You play well, they keep the net clear, the goalie is going to look good.”
Halak did his part, denying Corey Perry on an odd-man surge that was set up by Rickard Rakell’s outstanding strike go in the opening minute of the second period.
Halak additionally got some assistance when defenseman Brandon Carlo diverted Brandon Montour’s subsequent shot of a breakaway by Ducks rookie forward Max Jones late in the first period.
Jones didn’t have the angle he wanted initially and hesitated to shoot after racing past three Bruins at the blue line, allowing Halak to square up and make the initial save.
“A couple of times I got help from my D by clearing the puck or making a save for me, but I think it was a good effort,” said Halak, who got his 46th career shutout.
Acciari put the Bruins in front 5:31 into the main time frame when he tipped Carlo’s amazing slap shot past Boyle, finishing a 16-diversion scoreless streak.
The Bruins made it 2-0 on DeBrusk’s power-play goal 5:07 into the second. Anaheim goalie Kevin Boyle got captured out of position in the wake of difficult David Krejci, who effectively skated past the new kid on the block and encouraged DeBrusk for a simple tap-in. DeBrusk scored for the second straight game.
“Yeah, I was grinding for that one, that’s for sure,” DeBrusk joked. “It was pretty much lying in the crease and I had a front-row view to it, and it was just nice to be in the right place at the right time and help the team.”
The Ducks have dropped 20 of their past 23 games. They have been shut out three times in their past nine games and scored a total of nine goals in that span.
“You can’t expect to shut teams out every night,” Ducks defenseman Josh Manson said. “It’s unfortunate, but we know we have to score. It doesn’t change anything for us.”