The team was disappointed in the effort they showed against the Senators and hoped to have a better showing tonight at home. Anton Khudobin made his return to the Boston net tonight after his injury and short conditioning stint in Providence. The game didn’t start well for the Bruins. A perfect Sam Bennett wrist shot beat Khudobin high on the glove side roughly midway through the 1st.
Facing a 1-0 hill to climb, the Bruins had to stem the tide before they lost control. David Pastrnak had a gorgeous opportunity after the puck squirted out to the right side of Chad Johnson’s crease, but the Calgary netminder made a great lateral move to seal the post and corralled the rebound for a whistle. 16:00 into the 1st the Bruins had a much-needed appearance by their third line when the Czarnik-Nash-Beleskey line had some chances. The 3rd line continued the pressure and put the Bruins on the man advantage late in the 1st.
The Bruins dodged a bullet after they had to review a potential Flames goal. Khudobin had a shot come up high and the puck rebounded directly between his pads which caused a scramble in the Boston crease. The Flamers crashed hard on the Bruins net but Khudobin kept the puck out of the net. The 2nd expired and it was much of the same from the Black and Gold. The Flames out-shot the Bruins by a margin of 13 to 5.
BRUINS NEEDED A STRONGER EFFORT IN THE 2ND
The Bruins thought they had the equalizer around 5:00 into the 2nd after Johnson got bumped into the corner by Giordano. The puck wrapped around the boards, and Patrice Bergeron shot the puck at a bad angle to put it into the open net. The on ice officials deemed it a good goal, and the Flames used their Coach’s Challenge due to goaltender interference. Marchand pushed Giordano into Johnson. The officials agreed that the contact prevented Johnson from doing his job and the goal was revoked. The Bruins had to put their work boots back on.
The 2nd continued to grind by for the Bruins. They had their 2nd power play, but the Bruins did absolutely nothing with it once again. The Bruins ended the 2nd behind on shots again, with Calgary leading 20-14 in that category. Chad Johnson was making it look easy for the Flames. (I don’t remember him ever looking this good when he was the Bruins backup, by the way.)
CAN THE BRUINS STILL SCORE GOALS?
If the Ottawa game and what we saw two periods in are any indicator, I’m not so sure they can. The Bruins went into the 3rd with a healthy dose of skepticism from Bruins fans. The Bruins generated some strong shifts to start the third. Bruins rookie Austin Czarnik had a great presence to begin the period as he and his line were buzzing in the offensive zone. The Flames took some liberties on Patrice Bergeron which incited another scuffle, but somehow the officials determined that there would be no man advantage on either side. The Bruins felt shorted there after the Flames certainly took some liberties.
The Bruins were given a man advantage after Frolik was assessed a tripping call. This power play seemed to be more efficient, but it was a lot of perimeter shots with no 2nd chances after the initial shot. The Bruins man advantage came to a close, but they kept the foot firmly on the gas pedal. To answer my previous question – yes. David Pastrnak converted the loose puck in the crease after he out-muscled the defense and fired it into the open side of the net.
The Bruins forgot how to play defense immediately after they scored the equalizer. 1:10 after Pastrnak’s goal, Joe Morrow and Kevan Miller combined to leave Alex Chiasson all alone out front. Chiasson fired it into the top left of the net to put the Bruins right back in a one goal hole. What has Boston done to incite the wrath of the hockey gods?
BACK IN A ONE-GOAL HOLE, BRUINS HAD TO GET MORE OFFENSIVE CHANCES
Jimmy Hayes dropped the gloves with Hathaway after the Dorchester native had a good open ice hit. Hathaway took exception to Hayes’ hit and instigated a fight with him, which was more like a hugfest than a fight. The Bruins wanted to regain control of the momentum. The Bruins kept some offensive zone pressure going. Dennis Wideman thought that David Backes was an official and decked him from behind, putting the Flames back on the penalty kill on a boarding call.
The Bruins had some decent movement, but the Flames killed off the penalty and the Bruins continued to look for an answer to the Flames defense. The Bruins changed the urgency and lead in shots 32 to to 27, but continued to trail in the game. After every whistle, a Flame player pops a Bruin in the face or makes some unnecessary bit of contact that goes uncalled by the officials. The 3rd was coming to a conclusion in rapid fashion and the Bruins were still behind by a tally. They wouldn’t rally. Stop me if you’ve heard this before – the Bruins only scored one goal in this game, and it was a dirty goal by David Pastrnak. Does that sound familiar at all? That’s not acceptable and they need to get more offense out of Backes, Krejci, Beleskey, Marchand and Spooner. The Bruins are now below .500 at home and are on a 3 game losing streak. Not good.