Battling through a flu bug throughout the week, still without head coach Bruce Cassidy, and without Brandon Carlo for the second straight game, the Bruins capped their three-game road trip through Western Canada with five of a possible six points in their pocket thanks to a 4-2 victory over the Flames.
Hard to draw it up better than that, right? You bet. Especially when taking a look at how Saturday’s showdown between the Bruins and Flames played out at Calgary’s Saddledome.
In a game that saw the Bruins outshot by a staggering 42-27 mark, the Bruins finally had puck luck on their side by scoring the first three goals of the evening on strikes from Connor Clifton, Brad Marchand, and Charlie McAvoy in the first 26:48 of the night.
The Clifton goal felt like an early backbreaker for the Flames, too, in the sense that it was a shot that the Flames’ Jacob Markstrom absolutely should have had from that angle.
Connor Clifton opens the scoring for Boston.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) December 12, 2021
He beats Markstrom for his first goal of the season.
1-0 Bruins. pic.twitter.com/ASqElC3DPK
The Flames finally countered with a Matthew Tkachuk power-play goal tucked through Linus Ullmark, but the Bruins found some insurance from a Curtis Lazar third-period marker, which lessened any stress that could have come when Sean Monahan directed a puck through Ullmark to make it a two-goal game with 1:36 remaining in regulation.
Boston’s penalty kill had to be excellent in this contest, and they were, with kills on four of their five trips to the box.
The 6-foot-4 Ullmark, meanwhile, continued what’s been an impressive run in the Boston crease, with 40 saves by the night’s end. The victory pushed Ullmark to a 4-1-0 record in his last five starts, and with a 2.01 goals against average and .941 save percentage over that sample.
This also marked the first time that the Bruins have had back-to-back 40-plus save wins since Mar. 7-8, 2016. Back then, it was a 47-save win from Tuukka Rask followed by a 42-save shutout from Jonas Gustavsson. Ullmark also became the first Bruins netminder to post back-to-back victories with at least 40 saves since Tim Thomas accomplished the feat in March 2009.
With the road trip behind them, the B’s will return to Boston for a Tuesday night meeting with the Golden Knights.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.