That’s not the way Bruce Boudreau wanted to start his tenure as coach of the Anaheim Ducks. His team picked up a point, but it also blew a three-goal lead and committed 11 minor penalties en route to a 4-3 overtime loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
“You’re not going beat that club if you take nine minors,” Boudreau told reporters at Honda Center. “They tried hard, but in the end you can’t overcome making dumb mistakes.”
The Ducks have now lost 17 of their past 20 games.
It looked great for Boudreau and Co. early on, as goals by Andrew Cogliano and Teemu Selanne staked the Ducks to a 2-0 lead after one. Ex-Capitals prospect Andrew Gordon made it 3-0, and Anaheim appeared to be cruising.
But much like Boudreau’s team in Washington did in the loss to the Edmonton Oilers that was the beginning of the stretch that led to his firing, a lack of discipline contributed to things unraveling for the Ducks on Friday night. Selanne and Boudreau both lamented the parade to the penalty box, which handed the Flyers nine power plays.
“I think [Boudreau] did a really good job. A lot of positive things out there,” Selanne said. “He must be frustrated, too, about the penalties. He knew this team had a penalty problem.”
Philadelphia scored twice on the power play in regulation and again in overtime. Jaromir Jagr had two of the goals; Claude Giroux had the game-winner after Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf got a double-minor in OT.
It all combined to prevent a storybook ending to Boudreau’s first game with Anaheim. But despite the loss, he echoed the idea that there were a lot of positives.
“The energy and the enthusiam on the bench I thought was really good,” Boudreau said. “Everybody left everything they had on the ice.”
Boudreau won his first game as Caps coach in 2007 against the Flyers, 4-3 in overtime. But that wasn’t to be this time.
The Flyers were prepared for the jump the Ducks had early on.
“Every time when theres a coaching change, team’s going to come out hard and everyone wants to show new coach what they can do,” Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen said on the Ducks’ postgame broadcast. “We never gave up.”