NHL Hockey

Final 1 2 3 Tot
Boston 1 2 1 4
Calgary 0 1 1 2
7:00 PM PT8:00 PM MT9:00 PM CT10:00 PM ET3:00 GMT11:00 8:00 PM MST10:00 PM EST7:00 UAE (+1)22:00 ET1:00 BRT, December 11, 2021
Scotiabank Saddledome, Calgary, Alberta  Attendance: 16,190

Flames hope to halt skid when Bruins come to town

Boston Bruins at Calgary Flames

  1. The Flames whitewashed the Bruins, 4-0, in Boston on November 21 in the only meeting between these teams in 2021-22. Boston is 5-1-2 in its last eight treks to Calgary, tied for their most points earned in an eight-road game span against the Flames (6-2-0, 1985-90).
  2. The Bruins defeated the Oilers, 3-2, in Edmonton on Thursday. In Boston's last six games, neither team has scored more than three goals, the Bruins' longest such streak since January and February of 2019 (six). Boston and its opponents have combined for nearly 70 shots on goal per game over those six games (69.7).
  3. Brad Marchand opened the scoring against Edmonton with a shorthanded goal, his first shortie and 10th total goal this season. Marchand has scored at least one shorthanded goal in the past 12 seasons, the longest such streak since Pavel Bure from 1991-92 to 2002-03.
  4. The Flames fell to the Hurricanes, 2-1 in overtime, at home on Thursday. Calgary has gone to overtime in half of its 10 home games this season (1 SOW, 4 OTL). The Flames' four home overtime or shootout losses this season are tied with the Capitals for the most in the NHL.
  5. Noah Hanifin scored Calgary's lone goal on Thursday in the second period after missing a penalty shot in the first period. Hanifin was the first Flames blueliner to attempt a penalty shot since Steve Chiasson in December 1995 (Chiasson scored).
  6. From November 10 through Thursday's games, the Bruins have the best points percentage on the road in the NHL (.917, 5-0-1), averaging 37.7 shots on goal, also most in the NHL. Over that same span, Calgary has faced the fewest shots on goal per game at home (24.3).

Despite a three-game losing skid, the Calgary Flames remain atop the Pacific Division standings heading into Saturday's home clash with the Boston Bruins.

It's a remarkable position for the Flames to hold, since they have the fewest home-ice victories among the eight Pacific Division clubs. Granted, the Flames have played the fewest home games at this point, but their 4-2-4 record at the Saddledome certainly leaves much to be desired.

"We need to improve our home record and the games at home. There's nothing more fun than to win at home in front of the fans and family and friends. We need to get going and keep going," coach Darryl Sutter said.

The Flames are coming off a 2-1 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday in the first half of this two-game homestand. On three occasions in the third period, Carolina skaters saved sure goals with outreached sticks after shots had beaten the goaltender.

But a loss is a loss, so there are no moral victories.

"We didn't get two points, so it wasn't good," goalie Jacob Markstrom said. "We didn't get two points, and now we haven't got two points three games in a row. That's not good for our group, not good for our team and not good enough for me."

The Flames, who boast a 12-1-3 record against Eastern Conference teams, certainly have one key area to address. Their power play failed to convert on five chances against the Hurricanes, including one handed with just over one minute remaining in regulation time and spilled into the overtime. Calgary has failed to score with 11 power-play chances in the last four games.

The Bruins arrive after claiming a thrilling 3-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, in which Matt Grzelcyk scored the winner with 2:33 remaining in regulation time after his team saw a 2-0 lead disappear. Recovering to win meant a lot to the Bruins after losing two straight games in extra time, including a 2-1 shootout loss to the Vancouver Canucks the night before.

"We ended up getting a point but weren't incredibly happy with the way we played (in Vancouver)," Grzelcyk said. "We knew we had a back-to-back coming into a tough building playing one of the best teams in the league. We have a lot of character on this team, a lot of believability. We sort of adjusted before the game that we wanted to play with a little more urgency, play with some more passion. Think that was kind of missing from our game (against the Canucks)."

Boston, which is just outside of a wild-card spot in the standings, has struggled to cobble together consistency, and the way the Bruins buckled down after seeing their lead disappear is a positive step.

"We just started playing. We just started playing our game in the third," said assistant coach Joe Sacco, who is guiding the team while coach Bruce Cassidy remains home battling COVID-19. "It took us a couple periods to get going, but our group knew that we hadn't played our best hockey through two periods, and they went out and played hockey.

"The circumstances are what they are, but we felt like we're in the game after two and in a good situation. So, keep playing, just play hockey, stay on the attack, don't sit back, don't be so passive. And it was a better third, a good response after they got their second goal."

--Field Level Media

Updated December 10, 2021

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