The Boston Bruins were the better team Tuesday night against the Calgary Flames, and thus were full marks for their 3-1 win on the road. Yet, This was a 1-0 game for the majoirty of the night, and the Flames were able to hang with a pretty good Boston team, a team many are pointing to as a contender out of the East. They played a fairly solid hockey game, and on this night, fell short.
This sucker got going early with the Flames getting a pretty quality scoring chance right off the hop before the Bruins went right back the other way and opened the scoring just 59 seconds in. An odd man rush sent David Krejci and Milan Lucic in, and a hard Krejci pass found Lucic going hard to the net; his tap in was good for his 25th of the season and had the Bruins up 1-0. Boston really controlled the first period, finishing ahead in the scoring chance count, with a 7-3 advantage.
The second period was much the same, with the Bruins doing a nice job limiting Calgary’s offensive zone time to perimiter shots, many of which didn’t get through. Boston’s strong job of keeping the home side to the outside was the story of the game, yet Bruins goalie Tim Thomas did need to make a few ten bell saves in the opening 40 minutes. A strange Curtis Glencross double minor for high sticking carried over from the second to the third.
Calgary was able to kill off the entire four minutes, and when the powerplay time was done, the Flames were still only down by one. But it didn’t take long for the Bruins to score their second, with Boston’s Patrice Bergeron keeping a play alive and after the puck was worked quickly around the perimiter, it lead to a scoring chance. After taking a nice pass, Andrew Ference’s shot got touched by Bergeron and stopped by Miikka Kiprusoff, before Brad Marchand hammered home the rebound to give the visitors a little breathing room. A late Bergeron slashing call gave the Flames a chance on the powerplay, and they’d make good with a nice little passing play finishing with a deft cross crease Jarome Iginla pass finding Curtis Glencross for his 20th of the season at 17:27. But with an empty net, the Bruins would seal it with just 47 seconds remaining as Lucic would tap home his second of the game and 26th of the season.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames lost? They didn’t do a good enough job of converting their possession and offensive zone time into quality scoring chances. The Bruins held Calgary to 12 even strength scoring chances, and lets not forget, the Flames were chasing for almost the entire game. Calgary had some odd man rushes and botched them, they had some good opportunities thwarted by a blocked shot, and of course, they ran into the NHL’s best goalie in Tim Thomas a few times.
I liked Robyn Regehr’s game tonight. We all know who he plays against and we all know the role he plays, and there were a few times where he used his savvy and his vision to turn a potential scoring chance for Boston into nothing. I know he finished -1 and in the minus on the scoring chance count, but that’ll happen sometimes, because overall I felt he had a pretty good night.
Sum It Up
Boston was the better team tonight, yet it wasn’t as if they went out and dominated the Calgary Flames. When we talk about the Flames playing their game and giving them a chance to win, this was the perfect example. They continued doing the things that have made them successful for the most part on this night, and ran into a team that played their game too…and that team won, yet the Flames still were close and still had a chance to tie the game up late.