The Calgary Flames played the second game of a back-to-back on the road, facing off against the Boston Bruins after picking up a victory in the first ever game played in the UBS Arena against the New York Islanders. The Flames started Jacob Markstrom the night prior, which paved the way for Daniel Vladar to face off against the very same team that drafted him in 2015.
Just 89 seconds into the game, the Flames got ahead early. An initial shot from Valimaki rebounded off of Jeremy Swayman right to an open Johnny Gaudreau, who made no mistake getting it into the net for his eighth goal of the season.
Both teams played less than 24 hours ago, but the Flames had a much better first period compared to their counterparts. The score remained 1–0 after 20 minutes of play, which wasn’t a bad place to be for the Flames at all. Despite getting the first goal out of the way early, the Flames didn’t really give the Bruins much to work with. The Flames had a huge advantage at 5v5 shot attempts and expected goals in the first, per NaturalStatTrick.com.
In the middle frame, Calgary continued to press at 5v5 and maintained the edge in play. It paid off again too, as Boston-born Noah Hanifin scored his first goal of the season on another big rebound off of Matthew Tkachuk‘s shot. Most teams would be quite happy to have a 2–0 lead on the second leg of a back-to-back and Calgary is no different. They went into the third period with a huge chance to secure their fourth win of the season-long seven-game road trip.
It seems like playing against Calgary on any given night would be frustrating for their opponents this season, but the Bruins were a tired team facing a tired Flames team. This made the third period all the more frustrating for the home team.
Calgary opened the period with two more goals to extend their lead to 4–0. While on the penalty kill, it’d be no other than the duo of Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube exiting their own zone with puck control and taking it into the Bruins’ zone on a 2-on-0 play.
A quick pass from Mangiapane to Dube sprung the forward for an excellent scoring chance. The initial shot was stopped and rebounded by Dube, which was again stopped and rebounded by Dube. His third shot attempt was yet again stopped, but with the puck still lose, Mangiapane swooped in and snuck the puck under a sprawling Swayman to score his 15th goal of the season.
Calgary’s fourth goal of the game came just over a minute later as the Flames’ penalty was coming to an end. Mikael Backlund carried the puck in and shot it at the top of the far circle. His shot beat Swayman, but trickled slowly in the crease towards the net. Right as it looked as if the puck was going to cross the goal line, Charlie Coyle seemingly saved the goal by sweeping the puck out.
However, the replay showed that the puck clearly crossed the line and the Flames were awarded with a goal on Backlund’s penalty kill effort, although the goal would count as an even strength goal with the penalty expiring.
At this point, the Flames were more than content with keeping the Bruins scoreless rather than scoring their own goals, but even then, on a few consecutive penalties by a frazzled Bruins team, the Flames had a few more looks on their power plays, but as it turned out, Backlund’s goal would be the Flames’ final one of the game.
On the other end of the ice, Vladar did more than hold up his end of the bargain—he locked in his second career shutout in sweet, sweet fashion against his former team. The Flames picked up their seventh shutout of the season after 19 games, and end their road trip with a 4–1–2 record—three of those wins being shutout victories.
The Flames now sit at 11–3–5 on the season and return to the Saddledome on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Check out the game visualisations below!
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