Thursday, January 5, 2012

Game Thirty Seven: Bruins Put Out The Flames

Just one day removed from a stomping of the New Jersey Devils, the Bruins were back in action Thursday night at the TD Garden. They played host to the Calgary Flames, a team that Boston will only see once this season.

Fans might remember the last time that the B's took on the Flames during the 2010-11 season. They knocked off Calgary in the middle of a six-game road trip in which they went 6-0-0. The only other time that a Bruins team has gone 6-0-0 on a road trip was during the 1971-72 season. What do those two teams have in common? Both teams won a Stanley Cup.

The Flames are a tough team that will always battle their opponent hard. They have a stud in Jarome Iginla who came into the game looking for his 500th career goal. In order to get that illusive tally, he would have had to do it against Tuukka Rask who started in goal for the Black and Gold.

Brad Marchand was scratched from the lineup due to flu-like symptoms. Benoit Pouliot took his place on the second line and Zach Hamill played on the third line in Pouliot's usual spot.

We should not be surprised by something like this anymore, but the Bruins dominated the opening period. Tyler Seguin scored his 16th goal of the season just 1:14 into the game. Milan Lucic put the B's up 2-0 after the puck took a ridiculous bounce off of Olli Jokinen and past Flames goaltender Leland Irving. David Krejci added a power play goal later in the period to extend his point streak to seven games.

The Bruins made the Flames play chase all around the ice in the opening period because they controlled most of the puck possession. There was not that many fast rushes up ice. Instead, Boston took their time and brought the puck up ice at a slower pace. That strategy worked out quite well I would say.

In the second period, Calgary got more shots on Rask as the Bruins defense played somewhat loose. As far as the offense, they picked up right where they left off. Nathan Horton scored a pair and Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly scored a goal each. Zdeno Chara recorded his 300th career assist on Horton's first goal.

Miikka Kiprusoff replaced Irving in the Calgary net after the Bruins netted their sixth goal of the game.

Both teams just looked for the game to be over once the third period came along. The Flames had a power play but that only led to a short-handed goal by Daniel Paille. Bergeron added another goal for his second of the game.

The Bruins went on to win this game by a score of 9-0. Rask stopped all 25 shots he faced for his 11th career shutout. Twelve Bruins players finished with at least one point. Five of them had three point nights (Seguin, Horton, Bergeron, Krejci, Pouliot).

Getting the win in this game was a great way to kick off a four-game homestand. The Bruins next game will be this Saturday afternoon when they take on the Vancouver Canucks in a much anticipated showdown.

Gold Star: Patrice Bergeron (2 goals, 1 assist, plus-3 rating, 2 shots on goal, 76.5% face-offs won)...He earned this one for sure.

Black Star: Shawn Thornton...It looked like he took a couple of shifts off in this game.

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