Bruins, facing Flames, shoot for Alberta sweep


The Boston Bruins have put a swoon to the side with consecutive victories. The next order of business for the Eastern Conference leaders is to maintain their winning ways when they visit the Calgary Flames on Thursday.

The Bruins kicked off a four-game road trip with a thrilling 6-5 overtime win over the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

Boston saw a 4-1 second-period lead turn into a 4-4 draw, then blew another lead before recovering in overtime thanks to Charlie McAvoy’s tally.

“I just loved the way we kept forging ahead,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “We didn’t worry about what happened, positively or negatively. I thought we continued to play. Obviously, they had a great push by a great team in the third period and it snowballed, but we went right back to work after that.”

The Bruins had a 1-3-2 skid to start a seven-game homestand after the All-Star break before earning a 4-3 shootout victory over the visiting Dallas Stars on Monday.

The win at Edmonton required McAvoy, David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk to all net one goal and one assist. Defenseman Mason Lohrei, who was summoned from the minors for his first NHL game in a month, collected three assists.

“It was not exactly how we drew it up, but it was really special to get those two points,” Boston goalie Jeremy Swayman said. “And the way we did it through adversity and their push, I think that’s really something special for our group moving forward.”

The Bruins, who already were without injured defenseman Hampus Lindholm before they faced the Oilers, saw Matt Grzelcyk leave the game with a lower-body ailment.

After Swayman got the win with a 37-save effort in Edmonton, the Bruins plan to start Linus Ullmark in net at Calgary. Ullmark has a 4-1-1 career record with a 2.64 goals-against average versus the Flames.

Calgary, which is finishing a four-game homestand, snapped a three-game skid with a 6-3 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday.

The Flames, who are under the potential specter of a handful of players being traded away before the March 8 deadline, erased a 3-1 deficit to keep their flickering playoff hopes alive.

“Means a lot,” said Calgary center Nazem Kadri, who scored twice against the Jets. “I feel like we’ve done that several times this year, as well. When things start to snowball and stack against us, we’re able to just reset and refocus and pull out a big win against a great team. Very proud of the guys, a characteristic win from everybody.”

The Flames, who won the first meeting with the Bruins 4-1 just over two weeks ago in Boston, sit three points back of the Western Conference’s second wild-card spot.

Although the Flames have been written off by most of the hockey world when it comes to reaching the Stanley Cup playoffs — a task which would be all the more difficult if they trade away two top defensemen, pending unrestricted free agents in Noah Hanifin and Chris Tanev — they are keeping the faith.

“We know what we can do, and it hasn’t been easy for us lately, so I think for us to come back like we did shows a lot of good things about our team,” Calgary forward Jonathan Huberdeau said.

To their credit, the Flames are tied for second in the league with seven victories when trailing after two periods.

“Right from the beginning of the year, this team has always kind of stuck with it,” Calgary coach Ryan Huska said.

–Field Level Media

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