The Boston Bruins are finally coming home.
After starting the season by winning only once in a five-game road trip, the Bruins will play their home opener on Thursday when they meet the Calgary Flames.
Boston (1-3-1) is the only team remaining in the NHL that has yet to play at home, and only one other team (Dallas) has not played at least two home games.
The Bruins have failed to win their last three home openers.
Saturday's 4-1 loss to the New York Islanders capped a disappointing start to the season for the Bruins, who were forced to the road while the circus made its stop in Boston. The trip was the team's longest to begin a season since opening 2002-03 with a 4-2 trip.
Boston returns home tied with Philadelphia for the fewest points in the league (three), and looking to avoid a fourth straight defeat. The Bruins have not won since a 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Oct. 7, and their only other point this season came in a 3-2 shootout loss to St. Louis last Thursday.
"That's not the situation we want to go home with," goalie Hannu Toivonen said. "We've got to work on the things we did wrong in these games."
Among the things that went wrong was the Bruins' power play, scoring only three times in 30 chances. They have not scored more than two goals in a game since beating Tampa Bay, and have allowed 20 goals in regulation this season.
No Boston player has more than two goals and not one has a positive plus-minus rating. The Bruins' leading scorer is defenseman Zdeno Chara (five points) without scoring a goal.
Boston took 32 shots Saturday, its most since the season opener, but coming away with only one goal left coach Dave Lewis frustrated.
"We don't capitalize on our opportunities," Lewis said. "And as the game goes on you only get so many chances like that."
Calgary (2-3-1) is concluding a four-game road trip by playing outside of Canada for the first time this season. The Flames won 1-0 at Ottawa to open the trip, but have since suffered 5-4 losses in Toronto and Montreal.
Calgary was 1-for-33 with the man advantage before Matthew Lombardi and Dion Phaneuf scored power-play goals in Tuesday's loss to the Canadiens. The team finished 2-for-8 on the power play, but its success rate of 7.1 percent in those situations is among the worst in the NHL.
"Maybe we are putting too much pressure on ourselves," right wing Jarome Iginla said. "We're working on it. We're going to find ways to score goals."
The Flames had the fifth-best power-play unit in the Western Conference last season at 18.2 percent.
Calgary won 3-0 at home last season in the only meeting between these teams as Miikka Kiprusoff made 26 saves.
Kiprusoff has started all six of the Flames' games this season and has looked shaky. By giving up five goals in each of the last two games, Kiprusoff has seen his goals-against average rise to 3.01. He led the league last season with a 2.07 GAA.
|Oct 19 '06||CGY 2 at BOS 3|