The Bruins and Flames game yesterday got off to quite a start. After about the first six minutes it looked like this game could finish in double-digit goals for both teams. Fortunately for the goalies involved that didn't happen, and the rest of the game resembled the usual NHL game. The Bruins entered the game looking for their fifth win in a row. Bruins goalie Jaroslav Halak was also looking for his fifth win in a row after missing some time last week with an upper-body injury. The Flames went into the game with a chance to climb in the Pacific Division standings. A win perhaps helping make a case they should go all in at the deadline to make a run in the very crowded Western Conference. Let's break down how it all turned out.
It did not take long for the first goal of the game to be scored. Just 20 seconds in a shot from the point took a lively Calgary bounce off the end boards out to the left side of the net. The Flames first shot hit off the post but bounced right to a waiting Backlund, who put the puck behind Halak and it was already 1-0 Flames. Just over two minutes later Backlund was at it again, this time on a 2 on 1. Chara tried to play the middle and force a shot, but a pass found its way around the big man and Backlund buried his shot to put the Flames up 2-0. The Bruins wouldn't take long to answer. Another shot from the point would bounce off the end boards and in front of the Calgary net. This time Bergeron was the beneficiary and it was now 2-1 just over three minutes into the game. The Flames would then come back just 30 seconds later on a goal from Gaudreau. After Lauzon lost his stick Gaudreau would take a pass and go right down the slot and put a wrist shot in the net, 3-1 Flames. Thankfully the end boards still had some magic left in them. After a high slot shot went wide Bergeron would find the puck just to the right of the Flames net and knock it in, cutting the lead back to one at 3-2. All of this took place in the first six minutes and twelve seconds of the game. Just twenty seconds after Bergeron's goal the Bruins would go on the penalty kill after a questionable call. The Bruins penalty killers did their job and seemingly halted all the early momentum the Flames had to that point. With just over twelve minutes gone in the first, a defensive zone steal by the Bruins would lead to the tying goal. Coyle flew out of the defensive zone and Kuhlman would hit him with a perfect pass just before the offensive blue line. Alone on a breakaway, Coyle would flash his hands going from forehand to backhand and back to his forehand before wristing the puck over the glove of Talbot. The Bruins after the first four minutes we're absolutely dominant, not even allowing another Flames shot in the first period. If not for some tremendous saves by Talbot the Bruins could have been a couple of goals heading into the second, but the score remained tied at three.
Just under a minute into the period Carlo took a pass off the boards and took the open ice. Skating to about the right dot Carlo then fired a shot at the net with traffic in front. Marchand would use his slick hands to tip the puck by Talbot and give the Bruins their first lead of the game at 4-3. From this point neither team really controlled the action, both exchanging decent chances. About seven minutes into the period the Bruins had a golden opportunity off a Coyle to McAvoy to Wagner play, but the shot would ring off the post. At this point Calgary would start to gain some sustained pressure against the Bruins, but it wouldn't last long. The Bruins would use a Lauzon fight against Tkachuk to gain back some momentum. The Flames would later regain control but be unable to capitalize on any chances. The game would head to the third with the score still 4-3 Boston.
The Bruins fourth line would get some early momentum for the team setting the tone, but again it wouldn't last long. About six minutes into the period Bergeron would take a tripping penalty and the Flames power play would go to work. Halak would make several saves in the final minute of the kill as the Bruins had trouble clearing the puck. The Flames next best chance would come with about eight minutes to go as Gaudreau would get a step on McAvoy entering the offensive zone. The backchecking from Charlie, along with an aggressive poke check from Halak, would prevent Gaudreau from getting a shot off. The Flames again would turn up the heat on the Bruins ,but Halak stood strong and would not allow another goal. The Bruins take the game with the final score Boston 4 Calgary 3.
Three Stars/Final Thoughts
If it was possible I would give the first star to the end boards which had three assists on the night, but instead it goes to Bergeron. Bergeron's two early goals kept the Bruins in the game, and his faceoff skills were on full display tonight allowing the team to gain possession of the puck in all three zones. The second star goes to Marchand. Not only did he score the winning goal but he had an assist on Bergeron's second goal as well. The third and final star goes to Mikael Backlund. Backlund scored the first two goals of the game for the Flames and was involved in their offense all night. The Bruins will finish this back to back in Vancouver, looking for their sixth win in a row. Vancouver will have a fresh face in its lineup in Tyler Toffoli, who could have a large role with injuries piling up for the Canucks forward group. Vancouver sits at third in the Pacific, just two points out of first with two games in hand over Vegas. Vancouver is another team still considering more moves before the trade deadline and could use a win to bolster its case that they have a real shot at the cup. With the trade deadline just days away, the Celtics back in action, Sox spring training, and the Patriots offseason underway check out all our team pages for the latest news and updates. Don't forget to like and follow our pages on Facebook and Twitter, as well for notifications on all new articles being posted.
Featured image courtesy of Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports Images.