|2014 NBA Playoffs Expert Picks: First Round||NBA First Round Predictions||Datsyuk’s Late Heroics Topple Bruins in Game 1||Celtics Go 1-1 in Draft Order Tiebreakers|
The Bruins got two points they didn’t really deserve on Tuesday when they beat a determined Calgary Flames squad. Despite trailing for the large majority of the game Boston was able to squeak out a win for the returning Jarome Iginla.
The first two periods of play were so poorly executed by the Bruins that the highlight of the first 40 minutes of play was the introduction of Iginla prior to the start of the game. This was the first time he had returned to Calgary since his trade to Pittsburgh last season. In the offseason he signed with the Bruins. Calgary fans saluted their longest tenured captain with a standing ovation. Iginla was clearly appreciative as he couldn’t wipe the smile from his face.
After the game, Iginla said, “”It was definitely emotional. It was a cool feeling. It felt special, the ovation there at the start, and then you kind of feel funny standing out there.”
Anybody would have felt funny standing out there as the ovation from fans lasted over two minutes with the spotlight solely on Iginla.
The game wouldn’t start as uplifting. The Bruins came out flat and were clearly outplayed for the first two periods. The first period saw them outshot 11-5 and the second period was 11-4. It may have been Iginla’s night but it appeared that the Flames wanted it more than the Bruins.
Despite being severely outshot the Bruins managed to trail by only one goal after Jiri Hudler beat Tuuka Rask on his glove side about 15 minutes into the second period. Other than that minor slip up Rask was dominant as usual stopping 26 of the 27 shots faced on the night.
After putting all the pressure on their goaltender the Bruins finally came out in the third period and started to play hockey. They pressured Calgary and kept pushing the puck deep in their zone. Good things started to happen as Calgary got tired and began to commit penalties.
On its second power play of the period Boston’s Torey Krug ripped a shot from the blue line that David Krejci was able to tip past Reto Berra and tie the game at one. With the momentum now on their side the Bruins wasted no time capitalizing. One minute and 38 seconds later Reilly Smith broke down the ice, beat his defender and made a nice move to the forehand to beat Berra glove side to give Boston the lead. Boston outshot Calgary 15-5 in the third and was able to come away with the win despite only being the better team for 20 of the 60 minutes.
Still, the night was not over for Iginla. Even though he scored no points on the night he was named one of the game’s three stars. As he came out to do his skate around the rink the whole Bruins team came out to the bench to cheer him on. He tried to return to the bench but his teammates wouldn’t let him as they made him skate another lap around the rink much to the enjoyment of the fans.
While the night may have been memorable for Iginla the Bruins would be wise to quickly forget the first two periods of this game and prepare for the last two games of their four game Canadian road trip. On Thursday they will be in Edmonton to take on the Oilers. The Flames come to Boston on Tuesday December 17th where hopefully the Bruins will show up for more than just 20 minutes.