A return home was just what the doctor ordered.
Behind Zdeno Chara’s two power play goals and some solid goaltending from Tuukka Rask, the Boston Bruins bounced back from a tough end to their four-game road trip and earned a 2-0 victory over the Calgary Flames in front of the 184th consecutive sellout of 17,565 at the TD Garden. Here are three takeaways from the season sweep over those not so “Red Hot Flames.”
Bruins bounce back nicely
Although it was not bad by any means, the Bruins had a rough end to their four-game Canadian road trip with their 6-2 loss to the Vancouver Canucks. That was quickly erased Tuesday night with their season sweep of the Flames.
It took them awhile to get things going after a rough first period. But they got their legs back in the second where they outshot the Flames 15-4 in the middle 20 and took a 1-0 lead into the locker room.
“We didn’t manage the puck as well as we wanted. We had some turnovers and didn’t get the pucks in. It didn’t end up costing us but they had some chances out of those,” Rask said about Tuesday’s contest.
“We cleaned that up in the second, and then got us the lead and never looked back.”
They may have only won 2-0, against the lowly Flames, but as the great philosopher known as Bill Belichick would say, the Bruins got contributions from all three phases: offense, defense and special teams. Not bad for a team battling injuries, sickness and suspensions.
Tuukka gets back into the swing of things
After being pulled Saturday night for the first time since the 2011-12 season, Rask shut down the Flames; making 21 saves for his third shutout of the season. His shutout put him in a tie for eighth in team history with Hal Winkler with 19.
It was a pretty interesting night for Tuukka no doubt. Sandwiched between a nine shot first period and an eight shot third, the Finnish goalie only saw four pucks fired on net during the middle stanza. But he held his composure and was solid throughout.
“The second period, they probably had four shots, we never really gave them anything,” Rask said. The other team just kind of gets their chances obviously but it’s just a matter of how they get them. Today I thought we played a pretty solid 60-minute game.”
Chara flexible on the power play
The Bruins captain has the hardest slap shot in league history. And he certainly used that on his first power play goal of the night during the second period.This year, however, Chara has been used up front on the man advantage. One can certainly see why with his size and strength.
That also paid dividends Tuesday night as the 6-foot-9 defenseman banked home a pass from Jarome Iginla for his sixth power play tally and ninth goal of the season, which ties him for first with Erik Karlsson for goals among blue-liners.
In any event, Chara is comfortable in any situation. Most importantly, he is trying to help his team win.
“I’m just trying to work hard and be there for loose pucks and create traffic and finding some openings,” he said. “So really the main thing is to just work extremely hard."
It was just another day in the office for the captain, who continues to impress even with the recent bit of adversity.
“Not really. That’s the beauty of it, it’s a compliment because our team hasn’t changed,” head coach Claude Julien said about Chara’s approach during this tough stretch. “You go in that dressing room, it’s still the same just a few new faces but our demeanor, I guess our approach, nothing has changed. And I think if you’ve watched us play lately, I don’t think we’ve changed our game.”
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