After a see-saw first period that saw the Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames tied 3-3 6:12 into the opening frame, Brad Marchand scored 52 ticks into the second period and goalie Jaro Halak (18 saves) and his teammates reeled it in for a 4-3 Bruins win.
The Bruins (39-11-2, 90 points) have won five straight games and ten of their last 11 games. They’re now 3-0-0 on their four-game road trip that concludes in Vancouver against the Canucks Saturday night. With the win Friday night, they lead the Tampa Bay Lightning (40-16-5, 85 points) by five points for the Atlantic Division lead and the Pittsburgh Penguins (37-16-6, 80 points) and Washington Capitals (37-17-6, 80 points) by ten points for the Eastern Conference lead.
Patrice Bergeron scored twice for the Bruins, Charlie Coyle lit the lamp as well, Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist and David Pastrnak grabbed two helpers.
Mikael Backlund scored twice for the Flames and Johhny Gaudreau lit the lamp as well. Cam Talbot made 19 saves between the pipes for Calgary.
Here’s your BHN Five Takeaways:
Bergeron Led The Way Again
As Bruins captain Zdeno Chara once posted on Instagram, Bergeron is truly a “co-captain” of the Bruins and like Chara, he leads by example. That was on full display again Friday as the Bruins fell behind 2-0 just 2:34 into the first period. Bergeron could be seen (couldn’t find video, sorry!) huddling his teammates in on the bench before he went out for his next shift and 24 seconds later scored his 28th goal of the season to cut the Flames’ lead to 2-1. Gaudreau made it 3-1 just 25 ticks later but just 2:49 later, Bergeron once again cut the Flames’ lead in half with his 29th of the season.
As true leaders do, Bergeron walked the talk and led his team back into a game they seemingly were about to be blown out of. He calmed them down with his actions and words and once again proved why he is the heart and soul of this team.
Bergeron extended his goal streak to five games with six lamp lighters during that span. He has seven goals and three assists in his last seven games and is three goals shy of his career-high of 32 goals which he notched last season and during the 2015-16 season.
Cassidy’s Faith In Halak Pays Off
Halak let in three goals on his first four shots faced and five shots total in the first period. No one would’ve blamed Cassidy if he had pulled him when Backlund scored his second of the night and made it 2-0 Flames just 2:34 into the game but Cassidy as he always seems to, read the pulse of the game and his team. Obviously whatever Bergeron said on the bench at that point played a role and while Halak would allow the Gaudreau goal at 3:23 to make it 3-1 Flames, he settled down as the game went on and made some key saves in the third period to preserve the Bruins’ 4-3 lead. Halak is now 5-0-0 in his last five starts with a 1.60 GAA and a .935 save percentage.
Just like his shorthanded tally in the 2-1 win over the Rangers last Sunday, Coyle scored on a breakaway Friday and keeps riding through to open ice for scoring chances. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound center has shown some great breakaway speed recently and has been a driving force for the Bruins as he rides towards the net almost every game recently. Coyle’s 15th goal of the season that tied the game at 12:20 of the first period gave him 15 lamplighters on the season and six in his last nine games. Almost a year to the day (February 20, 2019) he was traded to the Bruins, Coyle once again proved that trade will go down as one of Bruins General Manager Don Sweeney’s best.
Marchand’s Hands Still Work
Following a two-assist performance in the Bruins’ 4-1 over the Detroit Red Wings a week ago, Marchand was asked if he had found his hands since he joked on Twitter during a scoring slump earlier in the season that his hands were missing. On Friday, Marchand snapped a seven-game scoring slump with the game-winner 52 ticks into the middle frame. Marchand now has 24 goals this season but by no means have his hands been missing despite some prolonged scoring slumps. Marchand assisted on Bergeron’s second goal of the game and now leads the team in assists with 53 helpers. He’s fourth in the NHL assist race and fifth in points with 77.
Bruins Add Scoring Depth
Prior to the game, the Bruins added some scoring depth by acquiring winger Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks for veteran forward David Backes, a first-round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and prospect Axel Andersson. In 49 games with the Ducks this season, the Czech forward has 23 points (7 g, 16 a). He’s currently recovering from a concussion and will join the team in practice Monday after they return from their road trip out west. As reported earlier on BHN though, the Bruins will likely make another trade or more before the NHL trade deadline at 3 PM Monday and Joe Thornton, who they drafted No. 1 overall in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft could be returning to Boston if he waives his no-movement clause