Published March 26, 2012
| Associated Press
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Marty Turco won for the first time in the NHL in more than 13 months with the help of a disallowed goal that would have tied it, and the Boston Bruins got second-period goals from Zdeno Chara and Benoit Pouliot less than 1 1/2 minutes apart to beat the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 on Sunday night.
Anaheim's Matt Beleskey beat Turco to the stick side with a wrist shot just inside the left post at 7:22 of the third period, but teammate Andrew Cogliano had both feet in the crease and was pressed up against Turco when the puck went in. NHL officials in Toronto examined replays and ruled no goal — infuriating Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, who had more than a few choice words for referee Rob Martel.
Brian Rolston then gave Boston a 3-1 lead, finishing off a 2-on-1 break with Chris Kelly by beating Jonas Hiller with a one-timer from the right circle with 6:54 to play. Anaheim's Lobomir Visnovsky completed the scoring with 2:29 left.
Turco, playing his third game with the Bruins, went the distance for the first time and made 25 saves for his first win since Feb. 1, 2011, when he stopped 29 shots in Chicago's 7-4 victory at Columbus. It was his 25th career win against Anaheim, one behind Evgeni Nabokov for the most against the Ducks.
Kelly had two assists for the Northeast Division-leading Bruins, who hold down the second seed in the Eastern Conference playoff picture by four points over the Florida Panthers.
Teemu Selanne scored a power-play goal for Anaheim and Hiller made 22 saves in his 69th start and appearance, breaking Guy Hebert's 1998-99 single-season franchise record for goaltenders in both categories.
Turco, a three-time All-Star who signed with the defending Stanley Cup champions on March 5 after an injury to backup Tuukka Rask, played the final two periods of Boston's 5-2 loss at Pittsburgh after relieving Tim Thomas. Two nights later, Turco started at Tampa Bay and was pulled after giving up three goals on 12 shots in the first 4 1/2 minutes — but returned early in the second period after Thomas gave up two more goals.
Turco, who spent part of this season playing in Austria, is not eligible for the playoffs because he was signed after the Feb. 27 trade deadline. The 10-year veteran led the NHL in goals-against average and save percentage in two of his first three NHL seasons with the Dallas Stars (2000-01 and 2002-03).
One night after playing in his 1,000th regular-season game, Chara opened the scoring at 4:37 of the second with his 12th goal of the season. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin had the puck behind his net and tried to slide it around the boards to Corey Perry, but it rolled past him to Chara, who got control just inside the blue line and beat Hiller through the pads from the left point.
The Bruins, 15-0 when scoring the game's first two goals, made it 2-0 when Kelly carried the puck into the Ducks' zone, faked a slap shot and quickly slid it over to Pouliot, who used Visnovsky as a screen and beat Hiller to the stick side with a 40-foot wrist shot for his 13th goal.
Boston's Adam McQuaid got a holding penalty 9 minutes into the period, giving the Ducks the opening they needed to get back into the game. They cashed in 11 seconds later when Selanne redirected Cam Fowler's slap shot from the top of the left circle past Turco's glove for his 661st career goal and 248th on the power play — one behind former Bruins great Phil Esposito for third place all time in that category.
Bruins center Rich Peverley, returning to the lineup after missing 19 games with a knee injury, had a golden opportunity to score less than 3 1-2 minutes in. He got the puck in the slot from Patrice Bergeron with Hiller at his mercy, but the Ducks' goalie made the sweeping glove save on the 25-foot wrist shot — Boston's only shot on net during the first 10 1-2 minutes.
The Bruins had another great scoring chance about 9 1/2 minutes later when Pouliot took the puck off Fowler's stick inside the Ducks' blueline, swooped in alone on Hiller and tried to beat him to the stick side. But Hiller deflected his 20-foot wrist shot over the glass with his left arm.
This was their first meeting between the teams since Dec. 20, 2010, when Hiller beat Boston 3-0 with 45 saves. The Bruins made their first visit to Anaheim since Jan. 13, 2010, when they lost 4-3. In that game, Selanne broke his jaw when he was hit by a deflected shot by a teammate, and missed the Ducks' next eight contests.
Notes: The Ducks are 11-28-2 with two ties against teams who were defending a Stanley Cup title. ... This was the first time Turco played in an NHL game from start to finish since Feb. 11, 2011, when he and the Blackhawks lost 4-3 to Dallas in a shootout despite his 32 saves. ... One more Bruins victory will make Claude Julien the first coach to guide the club to consecutive 45-win seasons since Gerry Cheevers did it in 1982-83 and 1983-84. ... Anaheim D Toni Lydman returned to the lineup after missing three games because of an upper-body injury. He is one of five players who have appeared in at least 70 games this season and haven't scored a goal, along with Florida's Mike Weaver, New Jersey's Bryce Salvador, Nicklas Grossman and St. Louis' Roman Polak. The most games by a Ducks player in one season without a goal was 74, by D Vitaly Vishnevski in 2001-02. ... Boston's previous regulation victory in Anaheim was Oct. 24, 1999, when Rob Tallas prevailed 3-2 with 29 saves in one of his four victories that season. ... The Bruins return home to play Tampa Bay on Tuesday night, looking to win three straight for the first time since a seven-game streak Dec. 10-28. Boston is 20-19-2 since then.