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After the Bruins lost three straight games last week, including two to the Detroit Red Wings and an awful loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Bruins really needed to do some soul searching as they began their longest road trip of the season. Wins against the Islanders and Senators to start the trip were good, but if the Bruins really wanted to prove they were for real, a win on the road against the red hot Flames would do the trick.
Milan Lucic scored twice, including an empty-netter, to lead the B’s over the Flames 3-1. Calgary had gone 11-1-2 over their previous 14 games, but couldn’t contain a Bruins team that appears ready for a run of its own.
Lucic scored on a pretty feed from David Krejci less than a minute into the first period, giving the B’s the quick 1-0 lead. Brad Marchand gave the team a 2-0 lead deep into the third period, and when that happens for the stingy Bruins, the game is usually over. Boston improved to 33-4-4 when they take a 2-0 lead in a game this season.
Not so fast, though. Calgary finally broke through Tim Thomas, who was coming off consecutive losses and hadn’t played in a week, late in the third. On the power play, Curtis Glencross knocked in his 20th goal with less than three minutes to go to make things interesting, but Thomas (28 saves) was rock solid all night.
“My legs felt fresher tonight than they have in a little while,” said Thomas.
Looking to tie it up, Calgary pulled Miikka Kiprusoff but could not gather much offensively. The Bruins managed to move the puck up the ice from the corner, and Lucic did the rest to pick up his 26th goal on the empty netter with less than a minute to go.
In the end, Thomas picked up the win, had some beautiful saves, and lowered his NHL-best GAA to 1.99.
“That whole week was good for him,” Julien said. “Tuukka (Rask) was able to win us a couple games in that span. It’s great to see. We’re hoping that we can utilize both of them from here on in so we’re in a position to have some fresh goaltenders heading into the postseason.”
Also worth noting was that it was Rich Peverly’s first game with the Black & Gold. He played on the third line with fellow newcomer Chris Kelly and Michael Ryder, finishing with just over 15 minutes of ice time.
The Bruins will now get a few days off as they continue their trek through the northern country of Canada. Next up for Boston is a game late Saturday night against the Canucks, followed by a game Sunday night in Edmonton.