The Boston Bruins’ poor execution and effort factored into their dismal performance and ultimate 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night at the TD Garden.
“We talked about being simple to start the game,” Jim Montgomery said. “We didn’t do that.”
“A lot of mental mistakes, a lot of physical mistakes, a lack of preparation, individually and collectively,” Montgomery said contributed to the Bruins’ loss.
Call it rust or whatever, but the Bruins got off to a slow start in the first period with the Flames beating them to the puck and spending more time on the defensive.
Andrei Kuzmenko and Connor Zary put Calgary up 2-0 after the first, as woes piled up with stagnant defense.
The second period wasn’t much better for the Bruins who were limited to just two shots on goal through 17 minutes of the middle frame.
The Bruins had a huge opportunity in the third period to try to make it a game when they found themselves on a 5-on-3 power play. Pavel Zacha cut into the B’s deficit while the Bruins still had a lot of time on Calgary’s high-sticking double minor.
But a mix-up when changing power-play units caused the team to have too many men on the ice, canceling out their man-advantage and taking away their momentum with it. The Flames regained a two-goal lead because of it on a Jonathan Huberdeau tally.
Yet another third-period penalty allowed the Flames to jump further ahead, this time with Noah Hanifin going zone-to-zone on Calgary’s power play.
Line shuffling didn’t work to try to generate some offense. There was also just no response from the team after Brad Marchand got pummeled out front by Martin Pospisil.
Low energy, few shots, ineffective special teams (besides Zacha’s goal) and an overall poor team showing sums up this game.
“Overall it just wasn’t the best game for us,” Zacha said postgame.
“Coming from a break, they came from a break too so it’s really not an excuse for us,” Zacha said.
The Bruins will have their work cut out for them as the Vancouver Canucks come to town on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.
Here are the game’s highlights:
The Flames opened the scoring at 4:20 of the first period on the power play.
After a shorthanded attempt by Charlie Coyle, the Flames brought it right back down the other end and fast. Huberdeau hit Kuzmenko with a pass in the slot for a wrist shot past Jeremy Swayman’s glove. 1-0 Flames.
The Flames extended their lead at 13:01 of the first period.
Driving to the net, Zary beat out the Bruins’ defense and switched to his backhand to put a shot low past Swayman. 2-0 Flames.
The Bruins bounced back at 4:14 of the third period on a 5-on-3 power play.
David Pastrnak found Zacha inside the right-wing circle where he put a quick one-timer top-shelf near post on Jacob Markstrom. 2-1 game.
Pavel Zacha converts on the 5-on-3 power play.— Conor Ryan (@ConorRyan_93) February 7, 2024
2-1 game. pic.twitter.com/4lmVyuMOIV
But the Flames responded at 6:13 of the third period as the Bruins lost the man-advantage, taking a too many men on the ice penalty.
Nazem Kadri picked the puck off the boards. The puck came out to Huberdeau at the top of the left-wing circle who quickly threw a wrist shot over Swayman’s glove shoulder. 3-1 Flames.
The Flames further extended their lead at 9:44 of the third period.
Hanifin sped through three zones up the right boards to first beat Derek Forbort on his way to the net and then Swayman’s five-hole with a backhander. Final Score: 4-1 Flames.