By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj
For the second-consecutive weekend, the Bruins are getting set to complete the second half of a back-to-back with a Sunday night game against a Canadian team. Last night, Boston extended their winning streak to three games after a solid 5-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in what was a good performance all the way down the lineup. The B’s will look to continue their winning ways against the Calgary Flames, who were also winners on Saturday.
Calgary has had a very strong start to their season, trailing only the Edmonton Oilers in the Pacific Division standings with a 10-3-5 record. Tonight is the final game on a seven-game road trip for the Flames who have a 4-2-4 record in their last ten outings, including a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders yesterday.
Arena: TD Garden – Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Home: Boston Bruins (9-5-0)
Away: Calgary Flames (10-3-5)
Bruins’ Last Game: 5-2 win vs PHI
Bruins’ Gameday Lineup:
Boston will line things up identically to the win over Philadelphia, with the only change being in net as Jeremy Swayman gets his eighth start of the season, looking to improve on his current 5-2-0 record.
On the opening shift of the game, the Flames bring it into the Bruins’ zone and get a few shots on Jeremy Swayman early, but the Boston netminder stands strong and makes the saves. Calgary is evidently looking to get one fast on the road.
Only 1:29 into the game, Derek Forbort makes a poor pass in his own zone that goes to Matthew Tkachuk and the puck ends up finding it’s way to Johnny Gaudreau’s stick who buries the rebound off Swayman’s pads, Flames strike first and it is 1-0 Calgary.
Boston tries to bounce right back as the second line gets into the zone and finds a decent chance off a rebound, but Taylor Hall fans on the shot attempt. It will be the first shot of the game for Boston after surrendering the opening four shots against.
Boston gets a power-play chance just about seven minutes into the frame as David Pastrnak drew a hooking penalty as he skated into the offensive zone. Subpar man-advantage for the B’s, only recording one shot on goal. Flames did a good job blocking shots and clearing at all opportunities efficiently, back to 5-on-5.
Ever since the first few minutes of this contest, the Bruins have looked much better. More shots on Dan Vladar while neutralizing chances off the rush coming back the other way. Taylor Hall appears to have his legs tonight as well, driving down the boards to get shots in tight on the former Bruins goaltender. Shots are tied at seven apiece with less than five minutes on the scoreboard.
Flames have a few strong shifts near the end of the first, one of which nearly leads to Johnny Gaudreau’s second of the game, but he rings the bar with a blistering wrist shot off the rush. The opening period comes to a close, Bruins trail by one.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 7 CGY: 9
Score: 1-0 Flames – Goals: Gaudreau (8) Assists: Valimaki (2), Tkachuk (8)
In the first eight minutes of the second period, neither team really got any quality scoring chances and both teams have done a good job keeping the opposition to the outside to limit the inside shots in addition to the very strong backcheck especially by the Flames.
Taylor Hall rips another shot for a Nick Foligno rebound that leads to a scuffle in front of Dan Vladar as the energy rises in this game. Tension is rising, largely due to the very close score and the solid defensive play from either side. Playoff hockey feel.
Jake DeBrusk gets arguably the best bid of the period for either team as he steals the puck from a Flames defenceman on the blueline and takes off along the boards, but due to the heavy pressure behind him, he’s only able to get a sort of one-hand shot on Vladar who keeps the five-hole close and holds on for a whistle.
With 6:09 remaining, the Flames win another clean faceoff in the offensive zone that leads quickly to a shot on goal from distance. Jeremy Swayman kicks out the rebound to a wide-open Noah Hanifin, giving him his first goal of the season and extending Calgary’s lead to two.
Anton Blidh does a good job driving hard along the boards and as a result, draws a high-stick from Hanifin, giving the Bruins another power-play chance. Pastrnak gets a chance for a short-side shot at the right circle after some good puck movement, but he rips it off the crossbar and it goes out of play. No dice to bury one, back to even-strength.
Flames get a few shots towards the net in the dying seconds, but Blidh makes a few big blocks – further proving he belongs on this bottom-six going forward, but the Bruins fail to score again and they now trail by a pair with one more regulation period left to play.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 18 CGY: 20
Score: 2-0 Flames – Goals: Hanifin (1) Assists: Tkachuk (9), Andersson (8)
Early in the period, Curtis Lazar draws a penalty and Boston gets a massive chance to finally get on the board and get some momentum. However, the Bruins allow a 2-on-0 shorthanded bid, only for Swayman to make the big save and then another after that, but Andrew Mangiapane buries it to make it 3-0 Flames shorthanded.
That’s not all, though, Mikael Backlund gets another goal for the Flames shorthanded, Bruins power-play falls apart twice and after getting a chance to come within one early, they are now down by a whopping four goals. Sloppy play continues to pile up against a Bruins team that evidently does not have their legs in this one.
If the Bruins do want any hope or miracle to come back in this game, they need to remain out of the box, but Brad Marchand does the opposite as the Bruins go back to the penalty kill for two minutes. Fortunately, Boston only allows two shots against on the Flames’ man-advantage and the game returns to 5-on-5 with less than ten minutes to expire.
With six minutes left, Nick Foligno tries coming into the Calgary end but in the process, commits a holding penalty and Boston goes back shorthanded. While they do make the successful kill, they now only have less than four minutes to perhaps end Vladar’s shutout attempt.
Welp, Bruins fall 4-0 in this one. Lacklustre, boring, no legs against a team on a long road streak also on the second game of a back-to-back. Just have to move on.
Shots on Goal: BOS: 27 CGY: 31
Final Score: 4-0 Flames
Max’s Three Stars:
1st Star: CGY G Daniel Vladar – 27 saves on 27 shots
2nd Star: CGY F Matthew Tkachuk – 2 assists, 3 shots, 2 hits
3rd Star: CGY F Johnny Gaudreau – 1 goal, +2 rating, 4 shots
Boston now looks ahead to Wednesday for a road game against the Buffalo Sabres.