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Talking Points: Ullmark Shines (Again); McAvoy Scores In Return

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BOSTON – The Boston Bruins improved to 8-0-0 on TD Garden ice with a hard-fought 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames Thursday night.

Connor Clifton, Charlie McAvoy (in his first game of the season), and David Pastrnak scored for the Bruins and Linus Ullmark made 31 saves.

Calgary Flames defenseman and Norwood, MA native Noah Hanifin had the lone goal for the Flames and former Boston Bruins goalie Dan Vladar made 24 saves in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 12-2-0 and lead the Eastern Conference with 24 points. They trail only Bruce Cassidy and the Vegas Golden Knights who are 13-2-0 with 26 points.

GOLD STAR: By this BHN scribe’s count, Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark has only been a Gold Star here once and for that I apologize. One could argue that Ullmark has been the Bruins’ Gold Star of the season thus far and on Thursday night he showed that again. The Bruins fell down 1-0 on a goal by Hanifin 4:43 into the first period but Ullmark wasn’t going to let it get worse. The Bruins netminder got in a zone and gave his team a chance paving the way for Clifton to tie the game at one 16:38 into the second period and McAvoy to score the go-ahead goal 1:49 later. Ullmark was clutch in the third period as well and finished with 31 saves for his 10th win of the season.

BLACK EYE: While they had some good chances and movement on the powerplay, the Boston Bruins still finished 0-for-5 on the man advantage.

TURNING POINT: Charlie McAvoy’s game-winner 18:27 into the second period. The Calgary Flames pressured in the third period but giving this goal up just after the Clifton goal had to hurt.

HONORABLE MENTION: What is it with Boston Bruins players coming back from long-term injuries early and then scoring? Charlie McAvoy became the latest Bruin to do so after winger Brad Marchand scored two goals and added an assist in his season debut on Oct. 27. As expected, McAvoy looked a bit rusty in the first period but he shook that rust off and was in beast mode for the final two periods. He scored the eventual game-winner (the turning point above) and finished with a goal, two shots, five hits and two blocked shots in 18:53 TOI.

BY THE NUMBERS: 18 – The Boston Bruins now have 18 goal scorers in 14 games.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “TLC baby!” – Charlie McAvoy when asked what the training staff is giving the injured players to enable them to return after long layoffs and have an instant impact.

 

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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serge

Connor Clifton has to be the first star of the game. Great hit on looch and scores the 1st bruins goal. So underrated in my opinion yet he seems to have to fight for a job every training camp.

Chuck Rose

I want to thank you Jimmy for not only giving Linus the gold star, but also for acknowledging that he probably deserved more.

William Mahoney

Great first game back! I wonder why the Bruins Management does not try to get Lucic to return to the team. These experienced players have proven to bring a significant boost to the offense and a way to go far in the Cup battle!

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