BOSTON (AP) — The Boston Bruins made up for a slow start with an impressive finish.
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Bergeron score two of Boston’s three goals in the third period, and the Bruins pulled away from the Calgary Flames for a 5-2 win on Tuesday night.
Boston held Calgary to 17 shots in the last 40 minutes and scored four straight goals after falling behind 2-1.
“We played much more to our style of play, how we want to wear teams down and eventually get our looks,” coach Bruce Cassidy said.
“That’s essentially what we asked our group to be after the first period. Let’s just play hard, get back to competing hard and winning pucks, getting there first. If you’re not getting there first, arrive ornery and I thought we did a good job.”
Bergeron, Nash leads Bruins past Flames 5-2
Riley Nash also scored twice and David Backes had two assists for the Bruins, who won for the sixth time in seven games. Zdeno Chara had an empty-net goal and Tuukka Rask stopped 27 shots.
“I thought the last 40 minutes were the way we want to play,” Bergeron said. “That’s heavy team that’s got a lot of skills. It’s going to happen. You’re not going to dominate and be at your best all the time.”
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Calgary had won four of five. Sam Bennett and Johnny Gaudreau scored for the Flames, and David Rittich had 35 saves.
Down 4-2, the Flames gambled by pulling Rittich for an extra skater and Chara made them play with an end-to-end shot with 3:46 left to play.
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After coming up empty on five power-play opportunities, the Flames felt they cost themselves a chance at a point or two in the fifth of six straight on the road.
“We’ve just got to better obviously on special teams,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano, who assisted on Gaudreau’s goal. “We had our looks on the power play. We had some good kills early but at the end of the day not good enough.”
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Boston jumped in front on Nash’s ninth goal just 28 seconds into the game, but Bennett got his eighth of the season at 2:03 and Gaudreau stuffed in a rebound at 9:12 to put Calgary up 2-1.
“You know what?” Gulutzan said. “I thought this was a game where your top guys had to come and play and I thought theirs were a little better than ours tonight.”
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Nash tied it with 3:40 left in the second, and Boston regained the lead 1:15 into the third period when Bergeron scored on the power play. Bergeron took a long pass through center ice from Torey Krug and beat Rittich with a wrist shot to the stick side.
It was the 26th goal of the season for Bergeron, who added No. 27 at 9:19 when he tipped in a shot from Brad Marchand after blocking a shot in Boston’s own zone and starting the Bruins on an odd-man rush the other way.
Basically, it’s hard to trust in the third period if they’re not down by a goal or if they’re not up by at least four goals. There is no in-between.
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“You always try to take care of the D-zone first and then you can think offense,” Bergeron said. “Obviously after that we were able to sustain some pressure and eventually get the goal.”
Bruins 5, Flames 2: Patrice Bergeron scores twice, sparks Boston past Calgary
NOTES: Nash’s two goals gave him 10 for the season, tying the career high he set with Carolina in 2013-2014. … The Bruins honored the 40th anniversary of the 1977-78 lineup that featured 11 players who scored 20 or more goals. Ten members of the team were introduced in a pregame ceremony along with former coach Don Cherry. … Rittich was making just his 11st start of the season. G Mike Smith is day to day with a lower-body injury that forced him to leave Sunday’s win against the Islanders in New York with 2 seconds remaining. … The Flames were without F Troy Brouwer, placed on injured reserve Monday with an upper-body injury.
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Patrice Bergeron, an emerging candidate for NHL MVP honors, scored a pair of third-period goals to lift the B;s in their final home game before a five-game trip.
Now, obviously Bergeron and Marchand are important players to the team. When Bergeron missed the first chunk of the season, the Bruins seemed lost on the ice. Marchand currently is ranked #1 in the NHL in points per game, at 1.29, ahead of Hart trophy candidates Nikita Kucherov and Evgeni Malkin. Their impact on the team cannot be understated.
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BOSTON — It;s getting kind of hard not to buy into this Hart Trophy talk.
Patrice Bergeron didn;t merely boost his MVP candidacy a bit on Tuesday night at TD Garden by scoring two more goals. It was the when and the how that were most important, not the how many.
When the Bruins succeed in the nature they have this season, it’s usually Bergeron and Marchand who get a lot of the credit. But the dynamic duo has turned into a tremendous trio, and it’s time Pastrnak started getting his due recognition for his efforts.
Bergeron;s 26th and 27th goals of the season — just five from matching his career high, with 27 games still left on the schedule — led the Bruins past the Flames, 5-2, in their final appearance at TD Garden before a five-game trip. Both goals came in the third period, included his team-leading fifth game-winner, and pulled the B;s to within one point of the first-place Lightning with two games in hand.
But that’s just it: Bergeron and Marchand have both missed time this season, 5 and 13 respectively. Pastrnak has played in all 55 games for the Bruins this season, and is putting up numbers that would surpass last year’s breakout season.
;Bergie;s hot,; coach Bruce Cassidy said of Bergeron, who has scored 11 goals in the last 13 games and 17 in the last 19. ;He;s a shooter this year, and it;s finding the back of the net.;
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Bergeron broke a 2-2 tie 1:15 into the third period, collecting a pass from Torey Krug behind the Flames; defense and beating goalie David Rittich with a wrist shot during a power play — his team-best ninth power-play goal this season. He padded the lead at 9:19, tipping a Brad Marchand shot in the slot to complete a play he had started by blocking a shot in the Bruins; defensive zone.
The Bruins, who were trying to shake off two shaky performances (4-2 loss to the Sabres on Saturday; 5-3 on Sunday at New Jersey) before hitting the road, had spent a lot of Tuesday;s game in comeback mode. They let the Flames, one of the NHL;s better road teams (16-7-5) take control in the first period, but with help from Riley Nash (two goals), perfect penalty-killing (5 for 5) and a bit of line-juggling by Cassidy, the B;s stayed afloat until Bergeron took over in the third.
;Obviously, when you;re in a tight game, you;re trying to make a difference,; said Bergeron, who has nudged above point-per-game territory with 27-24–51 totals through 50 games. ;Our line is trying to make something happen. That;s what we;re on the ice for.;
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That line changed a bit over the final 40 minutes. In part because he had taken a slashing penalty that took the B;s off a power play, David Pastrnak left the Bergeron-Marchand unit in favor of David Backes, who picked up an assist Bergeron;s second goal.
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The Bruins had the good fortune to avoid facing Flames No. 1 goalie Mike Smith, whose 47 games played ranked second in the NHL, because of a lower body injury. Instead, they saw Rittich (34 saves), who played for just the 11th time this season.
The B;s got the start they wanted when Nash scored his ninth goal of the season just 28 seconds into game. But they gave the goal back — literally, and quickly — at 2:03.
Noel Acciari, playing a dumped-in puck, gave it to Matt Grzelcyk in a tough spot behind the Bruins; goal. Sam Bennett roared up behind Grzelcyk, took the puck away, brought it to the front of the net and beat Tuukka Rask (28 saves) to the far side to make it a 1-1 game.
The Flames took the lead at 9:12 by taking advantage of some weak net-area coverage. Rask stopped a rocket from the point by Mark Giordano, then Matt Stajan;s poke at the rebound, but Johnny Gaudreau had time to collect that rebound and take it to the post, where he stuffed it in before Rask could get back to seal it.
The B;s regrouped in the second. Nash scored his second of the night, and matched the career-high 10 he scored with the Hurricanes in 2013-14, with 3:40 left. Rookie defenseman Charlie McAvoy and fourth-line winger Tim Schaller set it up.
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;I thought they were better than us, overall, in the first period,; said Cassidy, who watched Zdeno Chara hit an empty net for the game;s final goal. ;But we corrected it. Clearly, I thought we were the better team for the last 40.;