Bruins 5 Flames 2
CALGARY — Brad Marchand scored his league-leading 36th goal of the season and David Backes returned after getting hurt to score the game winner as the Boston Bruins defeated Calgary 5-2 on Wednesday to end the Flames’ 10-game winning streak.
Backes got tied up with Flames defenceman Mark Giordano and taken into the corner boards 12 minutes into the game. He was favouring his leg as he was helped off the ice.
But he returned seven minutes into the second period and on his second shift back he broke a 2-2 deadlock. Backes took a pass from David Krejci on a 3-on-2 and from 30 feet out whipped a wrist shot over the glove of Chad Johnson.
David Pastrnak, with two, and Matt Beleskey also scored for Boston (38-26-6). The Bruins fourth straight win moves them to within three points of the second-place Ottawa Senators in the Atlantic Division.
Alex Chiasson and Dougie Hamilton scored for Calgary (39-27-4).
One of the best players during Calgary’s franchise record-tying win streak had been goaltender Brian Elliott. He had nine of the victories and in those nine appearances had a 1.74 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage.
However, Elliott woke up with the flu Wednesday morning and was told to stay home. Johnson got the start instead with Jon Gillies called up from Stockton (AHL) to be the back-up.
Elliott’s absence was felt.
Pastrnak’s first goal at 11:47 of the first slipped through Johnson’s pads to tie the game 1-1.
Marchand’s goal 6:04 into the second, that gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead, was a bad misplay by Johnson, who failed to catch a puck lobbed towards the net by Colin Miller, enabling Marchand to corral the rebound and fire it into the vacated net.
While Johnson would want that goal back, same could be said for Anton Khudobin on Hamilton’s goal just 1:10 later. From about 70 feet away, the Flames defenceman beat the Boston goaltender with a wrister over his pad.
The Bruins added an insurance goal 3:36 into the third. TJ Brodie’s turnover at the Boston blue line led to a 2-on-0 for the visitors and they made no mistake with Ryan Spooner neatly setting up Beleskey for a one-timer and a 4-2 advantage.
As a result, the Flames trailed by two goals for the first time since Feb. 13.
Pastrnak added his second into an empty net in the dying seconds of the game.
Khudobin finished with 21 saves to win his fourth straight decision and even his record at 5-5-1. Johnson had 27 stops in falling to 18-14-1.
Notes: Boston welcomed back C Ryan Spooner (concussion) after missing three games… Calgary C Matt Stajan had an assist to give him 400 career points… Flames D Michael Stone (upper body) has missed three games but he’s getting closer to a return. He was a regular participant at Wednesday’s morning skate.