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Recap: Bruins blanked by Flames, 4-0

Not pretty.

NHL: NOV 21 Flames at Bruins Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Boston Bruins were shut out by the Calgary Flames, 4-0, tonight at the TD Garden, dropping their second home game this season.

It was the second time the Bruins were shut out this year.

Jeremy Swayman made 27 saves for the Bruins in the loss, while Dan Vladar made the same amount of saves to help Calgary win.

While the Bruins had 27 shots on net and were competitive in total shots accumulated to that of the Flames, the B’s off-net shots weighed down on them tonight.

“We’re clearly off-net a lot,” Bruce Cassidy said. “That’s been a problem all year. When you’re not getting many (on net), it gets magnified in a game like this.”

It didn’t help the Bruins’ cause that the Flames’ defense limited slot chances, but the B’s top forwards struggled in all areas and had overall had less rebound opportunities from Vladar than they might see on any other night.

The Flames’ top line struck in the game’s opening minutes on a rebound, and kept pressing to set the tone for the remainder of the contest. The Flames had strong breakouts and D-to-D movement which gave their rushes a solid foundation to move plays up ice.

It looked like things would turn around in the second period for the Bruins, as Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak began to drive shots on net. But the Flames’ defense stuck with their shut down system and didn’t allow many inside shots.

Calgary was able to break up plays and get sticks between passes in high danger areas that the Bruins couldn’t capitalize in.

Defensively, the Bruins had trouble with clears and that led to turnovers and opportunities for the Flames. Although some rebounds got away from Swayman, poor positioning out front and sloppy puck exchanges behind the net aided Calgary’s offensive push.

While the B’s eventually evened out the shot count each period, the amount of quality opportunities didn’t match. The Bruins’ power plays also couldn’t generate any positive momentum and turned out to be more beneficial for the Flames and the difference maker.

A minute into Calgary’s third penalty kill of the night in the third period, Andrew Mangiapane netted a shorthanded goal. Seconds after the Bruins’ power play expired, Mikael Backlund stuck the nail in the coffin with the Flames’ fourth goal.

The Bruins had three power plays, but the final one’s lack of shot production and turnovers generated ultimately decided the outcome of the game.

Here’s a look at the goals period-by-period.

First period:

The Flames opened the scoring at 1:29 of the first period.

Juuso Valimaki pinched down and threw a shot on net. His rebound came out to Johnny Gaudreau inside the right face-off circle for a quick one-timer where he caught Jeremy Swayman unable to reset. 1-0 Flames.

Second period:

The Flames extended their lead at 13:51 of the second period.

After a face-off win, Matthew Tkachuk’s rebound came out to Noah Hanfin, who low in the left-wing circle, fired a one-timer past Swayman. 2-0 Flames.

Third period:

The Flames took a 3-0 lead at 3:08 of the third period for a shorthanded goal.

Dillon Dube was fed a pass in the slot off the shorthanded rush where he tried three times to get it past Swayman. The loose puck eventually found Mangiapane where he collected the puck and put a shot low far-post past Swayman on the ice. 3-0 Flames.

The Flames cushioned their lead further just over a minute later at 4:11 of the third period.

Off the rush, Backlund carried the puck through the neutral zone. After gaining entry into the offensive zone, he let a wrist shot off at the top of the right-wing circle where it trickled through Swayman’s five-hole. Play carried on after Charlie Coyle retrieved the puck inside the net. After review, it was ruled the puck had crossed the goal line. Final score: 4-0 Flames.

The Bruins are back in action on Wednesday November 24 against the Buffalo Sabres on the road.