For a while there, it looked like the Boston Bruins were going to being 2018-19 with a “feast or famine” approach. Would they exchange blowout losses and impressive winning streaks?
Instead, the Bruins got back into Wednesday’s game after the Flames stormed to a 3-0 lead in the first period, but Calgary ultimately prevailed 5-2.
To start things off, the Flames enjoyed some sensational work from Michael Frolik, who celebrated the reunion of “The 3M Line” with two early goals. Frolik nearly netted at hat trick during a stretch where the Flames generated two semi-breakaways on the penalty kill, but he settled for the sort of night that should make another healthy scratch unlikely.
Frolik’s face was almost as entertaining as the tic-tac-toe goal that inspired it:
There were stretches where the Bruins seemed like they might do more than save face.
Most notably, the Bruins began the third period with a healthy 5-on-3 opportunity, yet Boston failed to even register a shot on goal. (To be fair, David Pastrnak found the post, but it was still a weak showing considering the Bruins’ firepower.)
While it was a night Tuukka Rask would like to forget, the veteran goalie deserves some credit for gathering hits wits after a tough first period. One of his better bounce-back moments came when he denied Johnny Gaudreau‘s attempt to score his 101st NHL goal (he scored number 100 during a first-period flurry), a save that preceded a vicious hit by Charlie McAvoy:
Generally speaking, the two teams’ impressive top lines delivered in this one.
Gaudreau hit that 100-goal milestone, and while the Bruins roughed him up quite a bit (even beyond that McAvoy hit), created a lot of chances as usual. Patrice Bergeron scored a sweet goal and an assist, Brad Marchand found the net, and Pastrnak collected a helper to go with a disallowed tally from the first period.
The Flames’ struggles have been confounding, at times, because they’ve fallen short quite often even though they combine Gaudreau-Sean Monahan with that “3M Line” of Frolik, Mikael Backlund, and Matthew Tkachuk. In this case, that second line made the difference.
Thanks to this result, Calgary’s won four of its last five games, while Boston’s four-game winning streak comes to an end.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.