Bruins

Bruins make it two in a row behind Rask, shut out Flyers, 3-0

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Bruins make it two in a row behind Rask, shut out Flyers, 3-0

PHILADELPHIA – The calendar might have changed to December, but the streaking Bruins are still just as red-hot as they were at the end of November.  

Behind a strong early start where the Bruins withstood some cheap shots from the Broad Street Bullies, Boston took care of business with a 3-0 win over the Flyers that dealt Philly its 10th loss in a row. 

Conversely, the Bruins have won six of their past seven and have now won two in a row with Tuukka Rask between the pipes after the goaltender ended his own personal losing streak earlier this week.

Ryan Spooner got the Bruins ahead early with his first goal of the season in the first period. Noel Acciari hit the speeding Spooner with a pass in stride and the Bruins center put a slick move on Flyers goalie Brian Elliott for the score. The Bruins extended it with a pair of goals in the second period after the Flyers threw high, heavy hits to the heads of both Brad Marchand and Charlie McAvoy to close out the first.

Marchand set up the first goal after controlling an offensive zone face-off, and fed David Pastrnak in the slot for his 13th goal of the season. Than Marchand followed by putting away a chance opened up by a Charlie McAvoy pass from high-to-low into the slot area as well.

It appeared the Flyers scored at the end of the second period to begin chipping away at the Bruins lead, but a B’s bench challenge overturned the Claude Giroux goal. It was ruled that Wayne Simmonds interfered with Rask after throwing a quick elbow to his head just before the puck arrived in the crease area. The overturned goal effectively took the wind of Philly’s sails with such a fragile hockey team, and Rask ended up making 28 saves for his first shutout of the season.  

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Talking Points: Rask's first period doesn't give B's a chance to win

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Talking Points: Rask's first period doesn't give B's a chance to win

The Bruins' Western Canada road trip got off to an uninspiring start Wednesday night in Calgary. Here are my talking points from the Bruins' 5-2 loss to the Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome:

GOLD STAR: It’s got to be Micheal Frolik with two of the first four goals scored for the Flames early in the game when they took full control of the proceedings. Frolik scored the first goal at the end of a beautiful passing play where he was open at the front of the net, and then he connected with Michael Backlund on another score that gave Calgary some breathing room in the second period. In all Frolik finished with the two goals and a plus-3 rating in 16:07 of ice time, and three shots on net, one hit, one takeaway and a perfect 2-for-2 in the face-off circle. It was a nice turnaround for Frolik after he was a recent healthy scratch for the Flames, and exactly the kind of response that a coach is looking for from a player.

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BLACK EYE: Tuukka Rask can ill afford one bad goal in a game, and he had two bad goals allowed in the first period that really sunk the Bruins in this one. The first Calgary goal was a nice piece of passing that ended with an open shot in front, so there wasn’t much blame on that one. But Rask had an awful rebound on a Noah Hanifin tester that turned into a Johnny Gaudreau goal, and then seconds later he completely fumbled away a Juuso Valimaki point shot that he just plain missed with his glove hand. Those two soft goals put the Bruins down 3-0 in the first period, and essentially served as the difference in the game ,as the Bruins were down by two goals in the third period before the late empty netter made the 5-2 final score. Rask allowed four goals on 28 shots in total and was better later in the game, but he didn’t give the team a chance with the way he played in the first.

TURNING POINT: The turning point was the two Calgary goals scored within 48 seconds of each other in the first period when Tuukka Rask had a mini-meltdown in the middle of the game. Johnny Gaudreau scored his 100th career NHL goal after Rask gave up a juicy rebound in front of his own net, and then less than a minute later Rask whiffed on a Juuso Valimaki point shot that turned into that player’s first NHL goal. Once that flurry was over the Bruins were down by a 3-0 score and really didn’t have any chance of winning the game despite scoring a few goals and at least making a competitive game out of it. For all intents and purposes, the game was over after those two goals and the biggest surprise was that Rask didn’t get pulled out of the game at that point.  

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Highlights from Bruins' 5-2 loss to Flames

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File Photo

Highlights from Bruins' 5-2 loss to Flames

FINAL SCORE: Flames 5, Bruins 2

IN BRIEF: Michael Frolik scored two goals to lead the Calgary Flames, who led 3-0 after 16 minutes and never looked back en route to a 5-2 victory. Patrice Bergeron was brilliant in the second period, having a hand in both of Boston's goals. BOX SCORE 

THREE STARS
1
- Michael Frolik, Calgary (2 goals)
2 - Patrice Bergeron, Boston (1 goal, 1 assist)
3 - Jusso Valimaki, Calgary (1 goal)

HAGGERTY: Rask's first period doesn't give Bruins a chance to win

OUT OF THE BOX, INTO THE SPIN CYCLE

BERGY’S SIXTH SENSE

TIC . . . TAC . . . TOE . . . OH NO

FLAMES’ GAUDREAU REACHES MILESTONE

UP NEXT

THURSDAY: At Edmonton, 9 p.m. ET (NESN)
SATURDAY: At Vancouver, 10 p.m. ET (NESN)
TUESDAY: At Ottawa, 7:30 p.m. ET (NESN)

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

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