The new-look Bruins were in action tonight in their third game of this six game road trip and their second of five in Canada. They visited the Calgary Flames, a team who was just recently removed from an outstanding outdoor game known as the "Heritage Classic." They defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-0.
Coming into the night, the Flames held a record of 31-22-8 and fighting for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. They skated against a Bruins team that featured all three big name acquisitions in the line-up tonight (Tomas Kaberle, Chris Kelly, Rich Peverley). Peverley came to the Bruins from the Atlanta Thrashers and he wore number 47, the same number as rookie Steve Kampfer. Peverley chose to wear number 49 even though Kampfer offered him number 47. Now that is a team that respects each other.
A couple of days before this game, many were contemplating how Claude Julien would set up the four lines. A suggestion arose to have Tyler Seguin skate on the fourth line with Gregory Campbell and Shawn Thornton. This was the most logical move to make since Kelly and Peverley would skate with Michael Ryder on the third line and the fact that Seguin had been playing great the past few games.
Daniel Paille was the odd man out, which was bearable because he has been playing lack-luster the past few games and some energy needed to return on that fourth line. Johnny Boychuk was back in the line-up as Kampfer got the scratch. The game got off to a fast start when Milan Lucic scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season off of a beautiful pass from David Krejci. A flurry of shots by the Flames were all shut down by Tim Thomas. Bruins led 1-0 after one.
For those of you who love great defensive hockey and outstanding goaltending, the second period had all of that and then some. Thomas and Flames' goalie Miikka Kiprusoff stopped a total of 19 shots. Even though Calgary out shot the B's through the first two periods 22-17, they still trailed Boston 1-0. A questionable four minute high-sticking penalty on Calgary's Curtis Glencross had the B's on the power play to start the third period.
The Bruins did not score on the power play, but later in the period Brad Marchand scored his 19th goal of the season. When that second line (Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, Mark Recchi) is clicking, they are a force to be reckoned with on the ice. Curtis Glencross made things interesting on a power play goal to pull Calgary within one. But Lucic added an empty net goal, scoring two on the night and the B's win 3-1, starting the road trip 3-0-0.
Gold Star: Tim Thomas (28 saves on 29 shots, 1 goal allowed, .966 save %)
Black Star: Nathan Horton...a couple of missed opportunities tonight and some average play in the neutral and defensive zones. He has got to play better if he wants to be a first line wing.