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5 THINGS - FLAMES @ BRUINS

Flames, Bruins meet for the second time in five days

by RYAN DITTRICK @ryandittrick / CalgaryFlames.com

FLAMES (32-25-6) at BRUINS (39-12-12)

5 p.m. MT | TV: Sportsnet West | RADIO: Sportsnet 960 The FAN

2018-19 Season Series: 0-1-0

 

Leading Scorers:

Flames:

Points - Johnny Gaudreau (52)
Goals - Elias Lindholm (27)

Bruins:

Points - David Pastrnak (88)
Goals - Pastrnak (45)

Special Teams:

Flames:

PP - 19.9% (18th) / PK - 82.3% (8th)

Bruins:

PP - 25.2% (2nd) / PK - 84.0% (3rd)

Advanced Stats:

Flames:

Shot Attempts: 50.14% (14th)
High-Danger Chances: 50.96% (12th)

Bruins:

Shot Attempts: 51.05% (11th)
High-Danger Chances: 52.03% (8th)

 

Video: A preview of the Flames and Bruins tonight in Boston.


1. US

The Flames are coming off a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday to begin a season-long, five-game road trip.

Andrew Mangiapane scored twice, Sean Monahan had a goal and an assist, Noah Hanifin had a pair of helpers, and Johnny Gaudreau added a single as the Flames picked up an important two points in the standings and moved back into the first wild-card spot.

"I thought our start was really good," said interim head coach Geoff Ward, who wasn't overly pleased with how his team was out-shot heavily in the third period. "We started the way we wanted, we started on time and were able to get out to the lead. I thought we were fine through two, and we probably would have liked to have been better than what we were in the third, but all in all... with everything that you talk about and potential trap games and all that stuff, I thought the guys did a good job sticking with it and finding a way."

David Rittich made his 44th start of the season - one off his career high - and made 27 saves in the victory.

On Monday, the Flames were one of the most active teams at the NHL trade deadline, acquiring left-shot defencemen Erik Gustafsson from the Chicago Blackhawks, and Derek Forbort from the LA Kings.

In exchange, a 2020 third-round draft pick went to the Blackhawks, while a conditional fourth-round choice was the return fare in Hollywood.

"We're happy with what we got accomplished," Flames GM Brad Treliving said. "Strategically, we may have had to change gears the last three weeks with our injuries on defence. So, you're sitting here and saying, 'OK, if you are going to look to add to your team, and
you have specific assets to use, what's the best way to use them?'"

Gustafsson has 26 points (6G, 20A) in 59 games this year, is averaging more than 20 minutes in ice time, and is what Treliving described as a "premier" talent on the powerplay.  

Last year, the 27-year-old had a career campaign, finishing sixth among D men with 60 points (17G, 43A) - including 42 at even-strength - three game-winning strikes, and an average of 22:35 in ice time.

Forbort, meanwhile, is heating up after a back injury cost him the first half of the season. In 13 appearances dating back to his debut on Jan. 6, the 6-foot-4, 219-lb. blueliner has played big minutes on the Kings' top pair. He defends well, is a physical force and will add grit to the penalty-kill.

Both players are expected to be available for tonight's game.

The Flames closed out by day by trading defenceman Brandon Davidson to the San Jose Sharks for future considerations.

"Acquiring these two defencemen, there were just a lot of bodies," Treliving said. "With the injuries we had beforehand, we didn't waive Brandon, because we didn't know. With two guys (Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic ) out, we had to carry seven. With the bodies that we do have and where Brandon sat on the depth chart, we wanted to give him an opportunity to play. San Jose was looking for him to come in there, so we traded him for futures."

Of note, Giordano is getting close and could be available for tonight's game. He's practiced hard over the past few days and looks ready for game action once again.

The captain has been out since Feb. 6 with a hamstring injury, and had six points in his last five games before going down.

With Alexander Yelesin being re-assigned to the Stockton Heat on Monday, Giordano can be taken off IR at any time.

While commenting on the skipper's rapid improvement, Treliving also gave an update on Hamonic, who remains week-to-week with an upper-body injury.

The GM stressed that the D man has not suffered a setback, but will be out a while longer.

"I'm expecting him to be a few more weeks," Treliving said. "That's really need behind adding these guys. We think Gio's really close and he wouldn't be on the trip if he wasn't, but Hammer - there's going to be some time there before he's back."

 

Video: "They looked good on the ice this morning."

 

2. THEM

The Bruins are back home after an eventful tour through Western Canada last week.

After handing the Flames a 4-3 loss on Friday in Calgary, the B's trekked west and were spanked by the Vancouver Canucks, 9-3, the very next night.

It was the most lopsided loss of the season for a team that doesn't have many, period.

"You're going to have games like this, so I'm not going to lose sleep over this hockey game," Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy told Kevin Woodley of NHL.com. "Sooner or later, during the course of 82 games, you're going to have ones where the other team is clearly better than you. We're not going to beat ourselves up over this loss."

In defeat, David Pastrnak scored his league-leading 44th and 45th goals, Chris Wagner potted the other, and Tuukka Rask was beaten for six goals on 27 shots.

"The way I look at it, from a goalie's perspective, it's kind of one of those 'when it rains, it pours'-type of things," Rask opined. "When it's not bouncing, it's not. Doesn't matter if it's 2-1, or 9-3 or 15-3, it's a loss. Move on and try to keep it tight next game."

The Bruins, who are a league-best 21-2-9 on home ice this year, were also active in the days leading up to and including the trade deadline.

On Friday, the club acquired forward Ondrej Kase from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for forward David Backes, prospect Axel Andersson and a 2020 first-round draft pick.

Kase took part in his first Bruins practice on Monday, skating alongside David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk. The winger has not played since Feb. 7 with flu-like symptoms, and while he looks to be over that and ready to make an impression with his new team, the debut may have to wait.  

"I don't know if he's gonna play (tonight), to be honest with you," Cassidy said. "I think he'd like to get a few more reps here with us. That deal is as much for the playoffs and moving forward - whether it's Tuesday, Thursday, or Saturday, we'll get a look at him."

The Bruins weren't done. On Monday, they added forward Nick Ritchie from the Anaheim Ducks, with Danton Heinen going the other way.

"I've always known how good a team it was from the few times we do play them," Ritchie told Eric Russo of BostonBruins.com. "We've only played them a couple times in my career, but it's always been a team that is so hard to play against and it's because of that identity. They play a hard game.

"I don't know if I've been on the right side of a lot of those games out in Anaheim, but I'm glad to join a winning team now."

Ritchie has 19 points (8G, 11A) in 41 games this year.

 

Video: "Calgary is a hockey town... it's going to be fun."

 

3. US VS. THEM

You again?!

The Flames and Bruins met for the first time only five days ago, with the B's overcoming a pair of early, two-goal deficits, en route to a 4-3 victory on Friday at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

The Flames set a franchise record with three goals in the first 3:23 of the game, but the Bruins clawed back, tied it up before the intermission, then scored the eventual game-winning strike in the opening click of the middle stanza.

Boston's 'Perfection Line' of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand accounted for three goals - and six points total - while Jaroslav Halak made 18 saves to preserve the victory.

Mikael Backlund (2) and Johnny Gaudreau supplied the offence for Calgary, while Cam Talbot turned aside 19 shots.

"Our team has shown an ability to play well against good hockey teams throughout the year," Ward said. "We played a good game (against Boston) the other night, and I'm sure we'll be ready to play (tonight). We just have to continue to do those things. We talk about it all the time - what's important is our game. What's important is how we prepare. We see that when we put all those things together, we have a game like we had against the Bruins."

The Flames are 4-5-1 in their last 10 meetings and hold an all-time record of 38-61-10-1 against the B's, including a 15-35-6-0 mark on the road.

 

Video: Condensed Game: Bruins @ Flames

 

4. THIS, THAT & THE OTHER

THIS: With his goal on Sunday against the Red Wings, Sean Monahan passed Joe Mullen and now sits alone in the eighth spot in Calgary Flames franchise history with 191 goals. Monahan now trails Hakan Loob by only two goals for the seventh on the franchise list. Monahan also recorded an assist for his 406th career point, which ties him with Lanny McDonald for the 13th-most points in Calgary Flames franchise history. ... THAT: The Flames are a league-best 14-4-1 on the road since Nov. 23, after starting the season 4-9-1 away from the Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary also has the third-best road penalty kill this year at 83%, and David Rittich is tied for the most wins on the road with 14 (tied with Frederik Andersen, Andrei Vasilevskiy and Carey Price). Elias Lindholm Leads the Flames with 29 points (15G, 14A) in 33 road games. ... THE OTHER: With his assist on Sunday, Mikael Backlund passed Robert Reichel for the seventh-most points by a centre in Calgary Flames franchise history (355). Backlund trials Joe Nieuwendyk (564), Kent Nilsson (562), Guy Chouinard (529), Tom Lysiak (431), Joel Otto (428) and Monahan (404).

 

5. PLAYERS TO WATCH

Flames - Andrew Mangiapane

With five goals in his last three games - the most of any skater, league-wide, in that span - Mangiapane has been named the NHL's Third Star of the Week.

The 23-year-old has 12 points (7G, 5A) in his last 12 games, and now has 27 points (15G, 12A) in 61 games this year.

Bruins - David Pastrnak

It kind of goes without saying…

Fact is, Pastrnak is on some kind of tear, and sits atop the NHL leaderboard with 45 goals - two clear of Auston Matthews and three up on Alex Ovechkin.

At his current pace, he could very well hit 60 and become the first player to do since Steven Stamkos in 2011-12.

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