The Boston Bruins couldn't solve the Calgary Flames' red-hot goaltender Sunday night -- even though they're plenty familiar with him.
The Flames blanked the Bruins 4-0 at TD Garden behind 27 saves from Dan Vladar, whom Boston traded to Calgary in July for a 2022 third-round pick.
Vladar's effort wasn't an aberration, either: The 24-year-old has yet to lose in regulation through five starts as the Flames' backup (4-0-1) and now boasts a 1.57 goals-against average (second in the NHL) with a pair of shutouts.
Vladar and No. 1 netminder Jacob Markstrom both have fantastic for the Western Conference-leading Flames and have combined for a historic start to the season in Calgary.
So, that had to feel good for Vladar to stick it to the team that drafted him in the third round (2015) before shipping him away for a third-round pick, right?
"If you would have told me yesterday, I wouldn’t have believed it," Vladar said after the game about his shutout of the Bruins. "Obviously, it’s great, but the season is still at the start, so you can’t get too high from it. You still have to keep going."
The Czech Republic native admitted he has "a bunch of friends" on the Bruins and wants them to have success this season. His loyalty now lies with Calgary, though, and he was all business on the ice at TD Garden.
"If you come here as an opponent, I know my role, I knew who I’m playing against, who my family is," Vladar said. "So I was just fighting for our team and I really feel like a part of this team."
Vladar and Markstrom have benefited from an excellent Flames defense that boasts the NHL's lowest goals-against average (1.89). But while Jeremy Swayman (2.39 GAA) and Linus Ullmark (2.87 GAA) both take their lumps in net for Boston, it's hard for Bruins fans to wonder about the goalie who got away.