Comeback kids from Calgary win a wild one against Bruins in OT

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It was their calling card last season.

The Calgary Flames developed a penchant for thrilling third-period comebacks, finishing third in the league with 10 victories when trailing after two periods.

It remains to be seen if they can conjure similar results this season as it progresses, however they pulled off quite the comeback in a wild one against the Boston Bruins on Friday, eventually winning the game 5-4 in overtime courtesy Johnny Gaudreau‘s hat trick goal. Former Bruin Dougie Hamilton, facing his old team, registered an assist on the winner.

Flames forward Jiri Hudler scored the tying goal with 1.2 seconds remaining in the third period, sending the game to overtime. It came just 1:04 after Brad Marchand scored on a short-handed penalty shot to give Boston a late 4-3 lead.

This was hardly a goalie-friendly game. The two teams combined for six goals in the opening 23 minutes, including three in 46 seconds early in the middle period.

The Flames chased Jonas Gustavsson from the net early in the second period on Gaudreau’s second goal of the night.

Calgary is now in a four-way tie — along with Dallas, Montreal and L.A. — for the most wins when trailing after two periods at this point in the season, as per NHL.com.

Video: Johnny Gaudreau scores a beauty, chases Bruins’ goalie Gustavsson

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Johnny Gaudreau‘s second goal of the game for the Calgary Flames chased Boston Bruins goalie Jonas Gustavsson from the net early in the second period.

Gaudreau took a pass in front and out-waited Gustavsson, tucking the puck in behind the Bruins goalie as he slid out to try to make the save. That briefly restored Calgary’s lead over the visiting Bruins. Gustavsson was pulled after allowing three goals on 11 shots, giving way to Tuukka Rask.

In a chaotic sequence, the Flames and Bruins combined for three goals in 46 seconds early in the second period, and six goals in the opening 23 minutes of hockey before things settled down later on in the middle period.

Video: Habs, Bruins set to take rivalry outdoors for 2016 Winter Classic

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The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens will add another chapter to their historic rivalry when they clash in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Boston on New Year’s Day.

 

Bruins focused on themselves, not Dougie Hamilton, who admits it’s been ‘frustrating’

Dougie Hamilton
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Dougie Hamilton will suit up against his old team tonight, after a trying first 25 games with his new one.

Hamilton, 22, has just three goals and three assists for the Flames, who’ve won just three times in regulation all season.

Yep, you read that right. Twenty-five games. Three regulation wins.

“It’s a little bit frustrating,” Hamilton told NHL.com. “It’s not the start I wanted and maybe it’s more of an adjustment than I thought it would be. With how we’re doing as a team, it’s frustrating as well.”

Not that everything has been roses for the Bruins. They lost in a shootout Wednesday in Edmonton. Though their 13-8-2 record is respectable enough — and they did string together five straight wins before falling to the Oilers — the holdovers from the powerhouse teams of years past know what good, structured hockey looks like, and too often this season the B’s have been lacking in that area.

“If you think about playing successful hockey it’s playing solid, it’s playing strong and playing good defensively,” defenseman Dennis Seidenberg told CSN New England yesterday.

“It’s nice to win games, and it’s nice to be getting points,” captain Zdeno Chara said prior to the Oilers loss. “But I think we also want to improve our play systems-wise, and be better in certain areas.”

So while most of the stories you’ll read ahead of tonight’s game will understandably focus on one player — a talented, young defenseman whose trade to Calgary was one of the biggest stories of the offseason — for the two teams involved, they’ve got more important things to worry about.

“We’ll have to be aware of him,” said Boston’s Adam McQuaid. “But aside from that, when it comes time to play you put all of the other stuff aside and focus on what you’re doing.”

Related: Jack Edwards says the Bruins’ blue line ‘is in a crisis right now’

Coach Julien says Bruins were ‘very average’ in loss to Oilers

Tuukka Rask, Colin Miller, Mark Letestu
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Claude Julien wasn’t impressed after Wednesday’s shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

“Very average…I think we were very average tonight,” said Julien, per CSN New England. “I think our skating game was there, but we didn’t play a real hard game tonight. That’s what we needed to go. We needed to skate and we needed to play hard against this team, and we chose instead to play a little more of their type of game.”

It’s a disappointing result for a Bruins team that came into this one riding a five-game winning streak.

Boston never had the lead on Wednesday night, but things were looking up when captain Zdeno Chara tied the game with 3:21 remaining in the third period.

Neither team found the back of the net in overtime and Oilers forward Jordan Eberle scored the only goal in the shootout.

Like Julien, Chara was also critical of his team’s play after the game: