DTFR Podcast #250- Is This The Leafs’ Year (To Get Out Of The First Round)?

Nick and Cam present cases for James Norris Memorial Trophy, Vezina Trophy and Calder Memorial Trophy finalists and predict how the rest of the 2022 First Round should go.

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DTFR Podcast #249- 2022 First Round Preview In Progress (Part 2)

Nick and Sean preview the Western Conference matchups in the First Round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Playoff Recaps

Calgary Flames Shutout Dallas Stars in Emotional Series Opener

The Flames take game one in Calgary, shutting out the Stars 1-0. There was no love lost between these two and the ten penalties between them made that clear.

Elias Lindholm opened the scoring for the Flames with a powerplay goal in the first period. That would not be the end of the excitement. Matthew Tkachuk made friends with Michael Raffl and things only escalated from there. After being assessed for fighting majors, Flames defenseman Rasmus Andersson and John Klingberg took things into their own hands. Both were assessed for a fighting major as well as a game misconduct.

Jacob Markstrom did not have a heavy workload which ended up working in his favor.. The defense had a lot of work cut out for them after losing their half of their top pairing. The team had to adjust on the fly and did it without any bumps in the road

.The Stars were not able to generate a shot until 11:06 into the first period and ended up being outshot 26-16.

Emotions are heightened during playoff hockey. Everyone is hungry and wanting it as much as the next guy. The Stars eliminated the Flames back in 2020. The Stars’ strong suit was forcing the Flames to take penalties. They were an undisciplined team that couldn’t bury a beach ball. We saw glimpses of that Flames team tonight.

Even strength scoring seemed to get lost in the shuffle. The Flames were killing penalties left and right so let’s give them the benefit of the doubt there. This could be a cause for concern down as the postseason rolls on. Good teams tighten up their game in the postseason. They aren’t giving opponents the man advantage.

Game 2 will call for more discipline and even strength goals. The Flames will be back home at the Saddledome on Thursday.


DTFR Podcast #247- Featuring Credits (feat. Jess Belmosto, Cat Silverman, Jessica Lindsey & Chris Gere)

Featuring Andrew Ladd talk, Arizona Coyotes talk, goalie talk, Calgary Flames talk, Frank J. Selke Trophy talk, Hart Memorial Trophy talk, James Norris Memorial Trophy talk and “Off the Cuff”.

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DTFR Podcast #246- Depth Chart Depth (feat. Sean Reilly)

Sean returns to the program to talk about the Boston Bruins, a plethora of injuries around the league, Doug Wilson, the Western Conference wild card race, Mike Bossy and more including an all-new segment where Sean flips the script and asks Nick stuff.

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NHL Nick's Net

Kings tie it late, win in overtime on the road in Boston

Trevor Moore tied the game with about 30 seconds left in regulation to force overtime before Andreas Athanasiou intercepted a turnover in the extra frame and capitalized on a breakaway game-winner to lead the Los Angeles Kings over the Boston Bruins, 3-2, at TD Garden Monday night.

Cal Petersen (16-8-1, 2.60 goals-against average, .904 save percentage in 26 games played) made 30 saves on 32 shots against in the win for Los Angeles.

Boston goaltender, Linus Ullmark (17-9-2, 2.81 goals-against average, .907 save percentage in 29 games played), stopped 25 out of 28 shots faced in the overtime loss.

The Bruins dropped to 34-18-5 (73 points) on the season and remain 4th in the Atlantic Division, as well as in command of the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Kings improved to 32-19-7 (71 points) on the season and trail the Calgary Flames by four points for the top spot in the Pacific Division.

Los Angeles is 2nd in their division, while Boston trails the Toronto Maple Leafs by three points for the final divisional playoff berth in the Atlantic.

The B’s finished their regular season series with the Kings 1-0-1 after winning, 7-0, in Los Angeles on Feb. 28th and losing, 3-2, in overtime Monday night in Boston.

Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) was a game-time decision and missed Monday night’s action, joining Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Urho Vaakanainen (undisclosed) on Boston’s short list of players out of the lineup due to injury.

Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, indicated to reporters ahead of the game that Vaakanainen is likely to return Thursday or Saturday.

With Grzelcyk out of the lineup, Jack Ahcan returned to the blue line, while Cassidy left his forward lines alone.

Ahcan fit right alongside Brandon Carlo on the second defensive pairing, while the rest of the defense saw no changes from Saturday night’s, 5-4, shootout win in Columbus to Monday night’s return to TD Garden.

Jesper Frödén and Anton Blidh served as Boston’s healthy scratches against the Kings.

Midway through the opening frame, Los Angeles defender, Mikey Anderson, tried to check Brad Marchand along the wall and paid the price of defensive awareness as Marchand absorbed the blow and made a reverse hit– rendering Anderson to the ice and clutching at his upper body as, presumably, he had the air knocked out of him at the very least.

Anderson skated off the ice with a little help from a Kings trainer and would not return to the night’s action with an upper body injury.

Moments later, Craig Smith won a footrace in Boston’s attacking zone and sent a shot that rebounded off of Petersen.

Charlie Coyle crashed the net and scooped up the loose puck before slidding a pass to Trent Frederic (4) for a one-timed redirection goal from the slot to give the Bruins a, 1-0, lead at 14:02 of the first period.

Coyle (16) and Smith (14) tallied the assists on Frederic’s goal as Boston’s third line continued its string of recent dominance.

The B’s didn’t hold onto the lead for long as the Kings evened things up 69 seconds after Frederic put Boston ahead.

Olli Määttä sent an errant pass to the slot off of David Pastrnak where Blake Lizotte (8) was in the right place at the right time to bury the rubber biscuit behind Ullmark– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.

Määttä (3) and Carl Grundström (4) notched the assists on Lizotte’s goal at 15:11 of the first period.

Entering the first intermission, the score was tied, 1-1, despite the Bruins holding an advantage in shots on goal, 12-11.

Early in the middle frame, Jake DeBrusk made no effort to stop on a drive to the net and crashed into Petersen with enough momentum to knock over the Los Angeles goaltender.

DeBrusk, as a result, cut a rut to the penalty box for goaltender interference at 6:00 of the second period– yielding the game’s first power play to the Kings.

Los Angeles’ power play was unable to convert on the ensuing skater advantage however.

Boston’s penalty kill stood tall once again when Mike Reilly was penalized for boarding at 10:49 as the Kings couldn’t muster anything past Ullmark on the resulting power play.

With less than a minute remaining in the second period, the Bruins won an offensive zone faceoff and worked the puck around the zone, whereby Coyle ended up with possession behind the goal line and brought it around the boards as Smith worked his way into the slot in front of the net.

Coyle setup Smith (11) for a catch and release goal on the glove side from the doorstep of Petersen’s crease– giving the Bruins a, 2-1, lead at 19:05 of the second period.

Coyle (17) and Reilly (10) had the assists on Smith’s goal as Boston carried a, 2-1, lead into the second intermission, as well as a, 20-17, advantage in shots on net.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, dominated in faceoff win percentage, 62-38, and went 0/2 on the power play heading into the final frame of regulation.

Boston got their first chance on the power play at 3:00 of the third period when Grundström sent the puck over the glass and out of play– yielding an automatic minor infraction for delay of game, but the Bruins’ power play went by the wayside.

With 2:10 remaining in the period, Kings head coach, Todd McLellan, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker.

Los Angeles used their timeout after a stoppage in play with about 30.8 seconds left on the clock after Patrice Bergeron cleared the puck off the glass and out of play from his own zone.

The ensuing faceoff would take place in the Kings’ attacking zone and McLellan recognized an opportunity to draw up a last-ditch effort at evening the score.

Los Angeles won the faceoff and worked the rubber biscuit around the zone while Moore (10) cut to the net and cherry picked a deflection behind Ullmark to tie the game, 2-2, at 19:34 of the third period.

Arthur Kaliyev (9) and Sean Durzi (14) tallied the assists on Moore’s goal as the Kings forced overtime, while the Bruins gave up another goal in the final 30 seconds of any third period for the third time in their last four games.

At the horn, Derek Forbort exchanged pleasantries with Adrian Kempe, who, minutes earlier yanked down Charlie McAvoy away from the puck– much to the displeasure of McAvoy’s teammates– as the two players raced to the endboards in anticipation of a play.

Forbort and Kempe each received a pair of roughing minors at 20:00 of the third period– rending the two players out for the majority of the overtime action, should it take that long.

It didn’t take that long.

After 60 minutes of action, the Bruins and Kings were tied, 2-2, on the scoreboard despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 31-26, including an, 11-9, advantage in the third period.

As there were no penalties called in overtime, Los Angeles finished 0/2 on the power play, while Boston went 0/1.

McLellan sent out Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Moore to start the extra frame, while Cassidy countered with Coyle, DeBrusk and McAvoy.

Each team went through one or two shifts as both teams were in the midst of a change when Athanasiou intercepted a pass attempt from Coyle while the Bruins forward tried a spin-o-rama backhand pass back to one of his teammates in Boston’s attacking zone.

Athanasiou (8) broke free and rushed up the ice on a breakaway and elevated a shot high into the twine behind Ullmark for an unassisted game-winning goal to give Los Angeles a, 3-2, overtime win at 1:53 of the extra period.

The Bruins finished the night leading in shots on goal, 32-28, despite being outshot by the Kings, 2-1, in overtime alone.

Los Angeles left the building with two points in the win column and the advantage in blocked shots (19-12), giveaways (12-9), hits (35-29) and faceoff win% (58-42).

The Kings improved to 5-5 in overtime this season (7-7 past regulation), while the B’s fell to 4-3 in overtime and 6-5 overall after 60 minutes.

Boston also fell to 24-7-2 (10-4-1 at home) when scoring first, 8-5-2 (3-3-1 at home) when tied after one period and 23-1-3 (8-1-1 at home) when leading after the second period this season.

Los Angeles improved to 15-13-4 (9-4-3 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 17-7-5 (8-3-3 on the road) when tied after the first period and 6-13-2 (4-5-1 on the road) when trailing after two periods in 2021-22.

The Bruins host Chicago on Thursday before the Arizona Coyotes pay a visit to the Hub on Saturday.

Boston hits the road for four games beginning on March 15th in Chicago and making their way through Minnesota, Winnipeg and Montréal before returning to TD Garden on March 24th.

NHL Nick's Net

What does Don Sweeney need to do to make it up to you by the 2022 trade deadline? (Part 1)

Chapter One- In The Beginning… (2016)

With over two months until the 2022 NHL trade deadline on March 21st, there’s plenty of time to start speculating about what kind of moves— if any— would make the most sense for the Boston Bruins in their 2021-22 endeavor.

Though it wasn’t easy at the start of his tenure as General Manager, Don Sweeney, has significantly improved his trading prowess as the deadline approaches from season to season in Boston.

That said, not every trade has yielded a gold mine for the Bruins and they’ve yet to win the Stanley Cup since 2011, despite making it all the way to Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final on home ice and winning the Presidents’ Trophy the following season (2019-20).

For the record, a lot has changed in both the league itself, as well as the team’s development since the days of acquiring guys like John-Michael Liles and Lee Stempniak on Feb. 29, 2016, instead of swinging for the fences and landing, uh, guys like Pat Maroon, Kris Russell or Mikkel Boedker at the 2016 trade deadline.

In retrospect, maybe there really wasn’t that much of a market that season.

Sure, Eric Staal was traded to the New York Rangers the day before the 2016 trade deadline on Feb. 28th, but he only managed to amass six points in 20 games with the Rangers down the stretch.

Staal then joined the Minnesota Wild in free agency on July 1, 2016, and had four seasons of a career resurgence before he was traded to the Buffalo Sabres prior to the 2020-21 season— whereby he was later flipped to the Montréal Canadiens— only to end up losing in the 2021 Stanley Cup Final to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.

These days he has been invited to Team Canada’s training camp for the 2022 Winter Games as he’s currently an unrestricted free agent.

More and more recently, the bigger trades happen in the last couple of weeks leading up to the deadline itself, so let’s widen the scope a bit for 2016, just for a second.

The Florida Panthers added Jakub Kindl from the Detroit Red Wings, Jiri Hudler from the Calgary Flames and Teddy Purcell from the Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 27th that year.

Kindl spent parts of two seasons in Florida before leaving for Europe after the 2016-17 season, Hudler joined the Dallas Stars for 2016-17, and promptly retired thereafter, while Purcell joined the Los Angeles Kings in 2016-17, before joining the Bruins on a PTO at training camp in 2017, prior to being released then spent the 2017-18 season in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) and retired thereafter.

One other team tried going for it in the rental market, as Chicago acquired Tomáš Fleischmann and Dale Weise from the Montréal Canadiens for Phillip Danault and a 2018 2nd round pick (38th overall, Alexander Romanov), added Christian Ehrhoff from Los Angeles for Rob Scuderi and dealt Marko Dano, a 2016 1st round pick (later flipped to the Philadelphia Flyers, 22nd overall—selected German Rubtsov) and a conditional 2018 3rd round pick (the condition was not met) to the Winnipeg Jets for Jay Harrison, Andrew Ladd and Matt Fraser.

Fleischmann retired after that season, Weise left for the Philadelphia Flyers in free agency that summer, Ehrhoff went back to Europe, Harrison never suited up for Chicago, Ladd had 12 points in 19 games— then joined the New York Islanders in free agency— and Fraser also never suited up in a Chicago uniform.

So, the rental market didn’t really pan out that year.

The San Jose Sharks added James Reimer and Jeremy Morin from the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for Ben Smith, Alex Stalock and a 2018 3rd round pick (83rd overall, Riley Stotts) the same day the Panthers made all of their moves.

Reimer went on to serve as a decent backup to Martin Jones in San Jose’s 2016 Stanley Cup Final appearance before ultimately losing in six games to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The Sharks also bolstered their blue line five days prior in a separate trade with Toronto on the 22nd, in which San Jose acquired Roman Polák and Nick Spaling from the Maple Leafs for Raffi Torres, a 2017 2nd round pick (later flipped to the Anaheim Ducks, 50th overall— Maxime Comtois) and a 2018 2nd round pick (52nd overall, Sean Durzi), but again, neither of those deals were earth-shattering.

Polák was in search of a Cup ring late in his career (despite playing four more seasons afterward) and had three assists in 24 games with San Jose in the regular season before failing to put up a point in 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games as a Shark prior to rejoining Toronto via free agency that summer.

Spaling at least had 2-4—6 totals in 24 games down the stretch with the Sharks and even recorded an assist in 24 playoff games before— like the rest of the team— losing to the Penguins in the Final and leaving the NHL for the Swiss League that summer.

In terms of immediate impact, the Sharks got their money’s worth (kind of), but for a trio of rental players.

San Jose’s deals might have been the biggest trades not involving the Bruins in the buildup to one of Sweeney’s most often criticized trade deadlines because first impressions mean a lot to some in the Boston fanbase.

What was made available, however, didn’t amount to much.

Although, there is enough credibility to the thought that the Bruins should’ve sold high on Loui Eriksson at the time when they could’ve shipped him out of the Hub at a premium before missing the playoffs for a second-straight year.

Instead, Eriksson went on to amass 63 points (30 goals, 33 assists) in all 82 games with Boston in his first healthy season in the three years he had been there after the Tyler Seguin trade (which happened under previous General Manager, Peter Chiarelli, while Sweeney worked in a player development role)— and signed on the dotted line with the Vancouver Canucks on July 1, 2016, leaving Boston with nothing in his wake.

This, after the Bruins (42-31-9, 93 points, 4th in the Atlantic Division) missed the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs by virtue of a tiebreaker with the Red Wings (41-30-11, 93 points, 3rd in the Atlantic) who had 39 regulation plus overtime wins (ROW) to Boston’s 38.

Two teams from the Metropolitan Division— the Islanders and the Flyers— clinched the Eastern Conference wild card playoff berths with 100 and 96 points, respectively, in the standings.

As for the biggest deal leading up to the 2016 trade deadline, you’d probably have to move the goalposts a little bit on the “within two weeks before the deadline itself” rule to find the best deal.

But the Ottawa Senators were the beneficiary of a revival on Feb. 9, 2016, when they traded Colin Greening, Milan Michalek, Jared Cowen, Tobias Lindberg and a 2017 2nd round pick (59th overall, Eemeli Räsänen) to Toronto for Dion Phaneuf (captain of the Maple Leafs at the time), Matt Frattin, Ryan Rupert, Casey Bailey and Cody Donaghey.

Phaneuf had a late career renaissance with the Sens and proved to be pivotal in their run to the 2017 Eastern Conference Final the following year— only to lose on the road in a Game 7 against the Penguins, 3-2, in double overtime.

Pittsburgh, by the way, went on to repeat as Stanley Cup champions that June.

Frattin never suited up for the Senators and left for the KHL after spending a year with the Stockton Heat (AHL) in 2016-17.

Rupert was mired in the minors until going to Europe in 2018-19, while Bailey played in seven games for Ottawa in 2016-17, then spent time split between the American Hockey League and Europe since then (currently in the DEL).

Donaghey, on the other hand, played in one AHL game in 2017-18, before spending the majority of his time in the ECHL prior to leaving for Europe last season (currently in the ELH).

But Phaneuf brought his $7.000 million cap hit to the Sens and actually saved the team money since they shipped out Greening ($2.650 million), Michalek ($4.000 million) and Cowen ($3.100 million) as part of the package— adding about $2.750 million towards the cap for Toronto in the deal.

Of course, the Leafs went on to win the 2016 Draft Lottery and selected Auston Matthews 1st overall that June, so it wasn’t all that bad.

In 51 games with the Maple Leafs prior to the trade in the 2015-16 season, Phaneuf had 3-21—24 totals. In 20 games with Ottawa, he had 1-7—8 totals.

The following year, he had 9-21—30 totals in 81 games and put up five points (one goal, four assists) from the blue line in 19 playoff games in 2017.

He then had 3-13—16 totals in 53 games with Ottawa in 2017-18, before he was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in another deal that— you guessed it, saved the Senators some money (only about $1.100 million this time around).

Phaneuf had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 26 games with Los Angeles and recorded an assist in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Kings were swept by the Vegas Golden Knights in the 2018 First Round.

Then in 2018-19, he amassed 1-5—6 totals in 67 games and had the last two years of his contract bought out by Los Angeles on June 15, 2019.

He didn’t officially retire until Nov. 16, 2021, and spent parts of two seasons following Brendan Shanahan around in his role as president and alternate governor of the Leafs.

Though he wasn’t scoring 40, 50 or even 60 points as a defender like he did in his prime with the Calgary Flames, Phaneuf was still the rugged and durable veteran blue liner that he was in his short tenure from before the 2016 deadline until about his final season and injury was really the only thing that did him in at the end due to his physical style.

He had value and the Leafs just gave him up to their intra-provincial rivals about three years before Toronto repeated themselves in giving Ottawa a better defender (Nikita Zaitsev) for a younger defender (Cody Ceci) that just didn’t really pan out as part of a larger package in a trade on July 1, 2019.

Anyway, that last part was really just for those of you that made it this far and care about things outside of just the Bruins organization.

We’ll move on to analyzing Sweeney’s deadline deals since 2016, in the next chapter.

NHL Nick's Net

Bruins put out the Flames, 4-2, in Calgary

Charlie McAvoy scored the eventual game-winner on a string of three unanswered goals to open things up before the Boston Bruins held on for a, 4-2, victory over the Calgary Flames Saturday night at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Linus Ullmark (7-4-0, 2.56 goals-against average, .921 save percentage in 11 games played) made 40 saves on 42 shots against in the win for the Bruins.

Flames netminder, Jacob Markström (10-6-5, 1.94 goals-against average, .933 save percentage in 21 games played) turned aside 23 out of 27 shots faced in the loss.

Boston improved to 14-8-2 (30 points) overall and moved into 4th place in the Atlantic Division– one point ahead of the Detroit Red Wings in division standings and one point ahead of the Columbus Blue Jackets for the 2nd wild card position in the Eastern Conference.

For the first time this season, the B’s are in playoff position.

Calgary, meanwhile, fell to 15-7-6 (36 points) on the season, but remained in command of the Pacific Division lead– one point ahead of the Anaheim Ducks.

The Bruins split their regular season series with the Flames 1-1-0 after losing, 4-0, on Nov. 21st at TD Garden and beating Calgary, 4-2, on Saturday night.

Boston was without the services of Jakub Zboril (lower body), Brandon Carlo (lower body) and Tomáš Nosek (non-COVID-19 related illness) among their skaters, while the team continued to be without their head coach, Bruce Cassidy, who remained in the United States for the duration of the Western Canada road trip in the National Hockey League’s COVID-19 protocol.

Acting head coach, Joe Sacco, made one change among his forwards, replacing Karson Kuhlman on the fourth line with Curtis Lazar– a move that would pay dividends in the night’s action.

Kuhlman joined Jack Ahcan as Boston’s pair of healthy scratches in Calgary, while Oskar Steen had been reassigned to the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Thursday.

Midway through the opening frame, Brad Marchand apparently got just enough of a stick hooked around Matthew Tkachuk somehow– replay had shown that it was perhaps another Bruin that committed the infraction and Marchand was mistakenly put in the box, but nonetheless, the Flames went on the night’s first power play at 10:32.

Calgary couldn’t convert on the ensuing skater advantage and, in fact, it was rather short lived as Sean Monahan slashed Lazar at 10:50 of the first period, yielding 4-on-4 action for a span of 1:42 prior to an abbreviated power play for Boston.

The Bruins couldn’t muster anything on their short power play, however.

Late in the period, Connor Clifton (1) pinched in from the point down where a right wing would normally skate and carried the puck into the attacking zone before unloading a wrist shot clean past Markström on the glove side.

Trent Frederic (2) and Anton Blidh (3) recorded the assists on Clifton’s goal as the B’s took a, 1-0, lead at 17:43 of the first period.

Entering the first intermission, Boston carried a, 1-0, lead on the scoreboard despite trailing Calgary, 15-7, in shots on goal.

The Bruins held the advantage in blocked shots (10-1), takeaways (3-2), hits (12-10) and faceoff win percentage (54-46), while both teams managed to amass four giveaways each in the first frame.

The two clubs were also 0/1 on the power play heading into the middle period.

Matt Grzelcyk scored the game-winning goal late in Thursday night’s, 3-2, win in Edmonton, yet received the first penalty of the middle frame in Saturday night’s effort as he hooked Andrew Mangiapane at 1:55 of the second period.

Once again, though, the Flames came up empty on the power play.

Moments later, Boston used their surge in momentum from a successful penalty kill to translate their good fortune on the ice with a goal on the scoreboard.

Marchand passed the puck to David Pastrnak in the neutral zone as the two wingers pushed into the attacking zone, where Pastrnak spun and flung the puck towards the goal as Marchand crashed the net.

Marchand (11) tipped the rubber biscuit over Markström’s glove side and under the crossbar to extend Boston’s lead to, 2-0.

Pastrnak (13) and Patrice Bergeron (12) tallied the assists on Marchand’s goal at 5:52 of the second period.

With the secondary assist, Bergeron (554) surpassed Phil Esposito (553) for sole possession of the fourth-most assists in Bruins franchise history.

By the end of the night, Bergeron would sit at 555 career assists in a Boston uniform– 69 assists behind the man in third place in franchise history, Bobby Orr, with 624.

At 36-years-old and in his 18th season, which also happens to be a contract year for Bergeron, there are no guarantees he’ll move up higher in the list, but for what it’s worth, Ray Bourque leads in all-time assists by a Bruin with 1,111, followed by John Bucyk with 794, then Orr (624) and Bergeron (555).

56 seconds after Marchand gave Boston a two-goal lead, McAvoy (4) extended it to three goals after waltzing into the high slot from the point while Bergeron worked a carom off the glass from the trapezoid off of Marchand’s stick back to the star Bruins defender.

Bergeron (13) and Marchand (16) tallied the assists as the B’s took a, 3-0, lead at 6:48– further solidifying the Boston captain in franchise history.

Moments later, Bldih slashed Oliver Kylington at 11:12 and presented the Flames with another power play opportunity.

This time Calgary didn’t let another skater advantage go by the wayside.

Rasmus Andersson sent a shot attempt towards the net that got knocked down before Tkachuk (12) scooped it up on the doorstep and shoveled the errant puck past Ullmark to put the Flames on the board.

Andersson (14) and Johnny Gaudreau (20) notched the assists on Tkachuk’s power-play goal and Calgary trailed, 3-1, at 12:19 of the second period.

At the very least, Tkachuk scored a goal on his 24th birthday, despite not much else going Calgary’s way for the night.

Late in the period, Marchand cut another rut to the sin bin for slashing Nikita Zadorov at 15:13.

The Flames weren’t able to make Boston’s penalty kill pay for Marchand’s sins as he was freed from the box and the period came to a close shortly thereafter.

Through 40 minutes, the Bruins led, 3-1, on the scoreboard, but trailed, 31-15, in shots on goal and were outshot 2:1 (16-8) by Calgary in the second period alone.

The Flames had also taken a lead in giveaways (8-7) and faceoff win% (55-45), while Boston continued to dominated blocked shots (16-4) and hits (18-17).

Both teams managed to have three takeaways each, while Calgary was 1/4 on the power play and the Bruins were 0/1.

Early in the final frame, Frederic sent a backhand shot to the net that rebounded and bounced around amidst the chaos of bodies in the low slot and crease.

Eventually, Lazar (2) chipped away at it and scored from the front doorstep to make it, 4-1, in favor of the Bruins.

Frederic (3) and Grzelcyk (5) had the assists on the goal at 2:57 of the third period.

Taylor Hall tripped up Christopher Tanev minutes after Lazar’s goal to give the Flames their final power play of the night at 6:20 of the third period, but Calgary couldn’t score on the ensuing advantage.

Instead, Monahan delivered a swift cross check on Jake DeBrusk at 14:18 and was penalized as a result.

Shortly after emerging from the box unscathed, however, Monahan (4) redirected a shot pass from Milan Lucic with his skate blade behind Ullmark at 18:24.

Lucic (4) and Andersson (15) tallied the assists on the goal (which was completely legal, by the way, since you can deflect a puck with your skate as long as it’s not a distinct kicking motion or you’re in the process of coming to a stop) and the Flames trailed, 4-2.

With 1:12 remaining in the action, Calgary’s head coach, Darryl Sutter, pulled Markström for an extra attacker.

After a stoppage in play shortly thereafter, he used his only timeout to rally his skaters.

After Boston iced the puck a couple of times in the final minute, the Flames couldn’t string anything together to make things interesting.

The Bruins had won, 4-2, at the final horn and finished the night trailing Calgary in shots on goal, 42-27, despite a, 12-11, advantage in favor of the B’s in the third period alone.

Boston exited the building leading in blocked shots (21-7) and hits (26-22), while Calgary left Scotiabank Saddledome leading in giveaways (12-9) and faceoff win% (51-49).

The Flames finished the night 1/5 on the power play, while the Bruins went 0/2 on the skater advantage.

The B’s improved to 10-4-0 (6-2-0 on the road) when scoring first, 11-0-0 (7-0-0 on the road) when leading after one and 10-1-0 (7-0-0 on the road) when leading after two periods in 2021-22.

Calgary, meanwhile, fell to 2-4-3 (0-2-3 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 0-3-3 (0-1-3 at home) when trailing after the first period and 0-4-1 (0-1-1 at home) when losing after two periods this season.

The Bruins return home after amassing five out of a possible six points (2-0-1) in their Western Canada road trip to host the Vegas Golden Knights next Tuesday (Dec. 14th) before hitting the road again for a three-game road trip against the New York Islanders, Montréal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators.

NHL Nick's Net

Ullmark makes 41 saves in, 3-2, win in Edmonton

Linus Ullmark recorded a season-high 41 saves, while Matt Grzelcyk scored his first goal of the season not a minute too soon in the dying minutes of the game to lift the Boston Bruins over the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2, at Rogers Place on Thursday.

Ullmark (6-4-0, 2.61 goals-against average, .917 save percentage, in 10 games played) made 41 saves on 43 shots against in the win for Boston.

Edmonton goaltender, Stuart Skinner (2-5-0, 2.75 goals-against average, .918 save percentage in eight games played), turned aside 27 out of 30 shots faced in the loss.

The Bruins improved to 13-8-2 (28 points) overall and remain in command of 5th place in the Atlantic Division– one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for 4th in the division standings.

The Oilers fell to 16-9-0 (32 points) on the season and in 3rd place in the Pacific Division– three points behind the Anaheim Ducks for 2nd place and two points ahead of the 4th place Vegas Golden Knights.

Anton Blidh returned to the lineup after dealing with an upper body injury since Nov. 28th against the Vancouver Canucks, while John Moore and Karson Kuhlman were also re-inserted amongst some redone lines and defensive pairings as acting head coach, Joe Sacco, was forced to make adjustments.

With Brandon Carlo (lower body) out day-to-day, Moore took over Carlo’s role on the second pairing alongside Grzelcyk.

Meanwhile, Blidh and Kuhlman’s reintroduction to the lineup meant that Curtis Lazar and Oskar Steen joined Jack Ahcan as healthy scratches for the B’s in Edmonton.

Erik Haula centered the third line with Jake DeBrusk at left win and Nick Foligno on right wing, while Trent Frederic manned the fourth line center role– flanked by Blidh and Kuhlman on his wings.

Jakub Zboril (lower body) and Tomáš Nosek (non-COVID illness) remained out of the lineup due to injury and illness on Thursday, while Bruce Cassidy (COVID-19 protocol) remained at home outside Boston in the National Hockey League’s COVID-19 protocol.

Leon Draisaitl kicked the night off with a tripping infraction after he brought down Moore at 3:50 of the first period, presenting Boston with the game’s first power play.

The Bruins weren’t able to convert on the ensuing skater advantage, however.

In fact, Boston was stumped on a 5-on-3 advantage for a little more than 10 seconds after Zach Hyman hooked Patrice Bergeron and cut a rut to the penalty box at 5:37.

Almost midway through the first period, Edmonton got their first taste of a power play opportunity as Frederic hooked Connor McDavid at 8:26.

The Oilers couldn’t beat Boston’s penalty kill, however.

Things did not pan out in Edmonton’s favor on their subsequent power play when Foligno was assessed a roughing minor for retaliating against Hyman at 16:03.

Just eight seconds into the penalty kill, the Bruins struck first on the scoreboard as Bergeron forced a turnover in the neutral zone before sending Brad Marchand (10) into the attacking zone on a breakaway prior to elevating a backhand show over Skinner’s glove side to make it, 1-0.

Bergeron (11) had the only assist on Marchand’s 32nd career shorthanded goal at 16:15 of the first period and– as a result– tied Phil Esposito for the fourth-most assists in a Bruins uniform (553).

Ray Bourque (1,111 assists), John Bucyk (794) and Bobby Orr (624) round out the top-three in franchise assist leaders.

Entering the first intermission, the Bruins led, 1-0, on the scoreboard despite trailing the Oilers, 13-9, in shots on goal.

Boston held an advantage in blocked shots (4-3), takeaways (2-1), giveaways (7-5) and hits (13-7), while Edmonton led in faceoff win percentage (54-46) after one period.

Both teams were 0/2 on the power play heading into the middle frame.

Draisaitl cross checked Marchand 10 seconds into the second period and presented the Bruins with an early power play in the middle period as a result.

Boston didn’t let this opportunity go to waste as Kailer Yamamoto turned the puck over to Taylor Hall, who then dished the rubber biscuit from the corner boards to DeBrusk (5) for a catch and release goal on the short side to put the Bruins up by two.

Hall (7) tallied the only assist on DeBrusk’s power-play goal as Boston pulled ahead, 2-0, at 2:02 of the second period.

Midway through the middle frame, Markus Niemelainen caught Frederic with a high stick, which led to the two players becoming a bit entangled as Frederic thought he had been wronged beyond the eyes of the on-ice officials.

Niemelainen went to the box for high sticking, while Frederic picked up a roughing minor and the two penalties resulted in some 4-on-4 action at 13:31 of the second period.

Neither team could score with the extra room on the ice available at both ends.

Minutes later, though, Haula was penalized for holding at 16:55 and the Oilers went on the power play late in the period.

Edmonton took their time on the ensuing skater advantage, but the barrage of shots eventually led to the formation of a triangle in which the Oilers worked the puck from the point to the side back to the point before Tyson Barrie setup Draisaitl (22) for the one-timer goal on the short side– cutting Boston’s lead in half in the process.

The Oilers trailed, 2-1, thanks to Draisaitl’s power-play goal at 18:14 with assists from Barrie (11) and McDavid (28).

Heading into the second intermission, Edmonton extended their domination in total shots to a, 27-15, advantage– outshooting Boston, 14-6, in the second period alone.

Though the Bruins led on the scoreboard, 2-1, and dominated in blocked shots (12-7), giveaways (16-12), hits (19-11) and faceoff win% (54-47), if you take your foot off the gas against the Oilers’ power play, well… don’t be too surprised if Edmonton surges in momentum thereafter for a bit.

As it was, the Oilers led in takeaways, 5-2, heading into the final frame as both teams were 1/3 on the power play.

Bergeron hooked McDavid to give the Oilers a power play at 4:03 of the third period.

This time, however, Boston’s penalty kill stood tall against Edmonton’s skater advantage, but the B’s presented the Oilers with another chance on the power play at 8:58 when Charlie Coyle was assessed a holding infraction against Yamamoto.

It only took Edmonton about half the time on Coyle’s minor to convert on the power play as it did the first time that Draisaitl scored a power-play goal in the second period and, coincidentally, Draisaitl (23) had the Oilers’ second power-play goal as well.

McDavid fed Draisaitl a pass from the dot to the goal line for a one-timer goal on Ullmark’s short side– tying the game, 2-2, in the process.

McDavid (29) and Barrie (12) had the assists on Draisaitl’s second goal of the game at 9:50 of the third period.

Late in the period, the Bruins had possession in the attacking zone where they worked the puck around from Hall to Craig Smith before finding Grzelcyk at his unnatural spot on the ice.

Grzelcyk (1), a left shot, blasted a shot from the right point off the far side post and into the back of the twine for his first goal of the season, as well as the eventual game-winner, as he gave Boston a, 3-2, lead at 17:27.

Smith (5) and Hall (8) tallied the assists on Grzelcyk’s late third period goal.

Minutes later, Oilers head coach, Dave Tippett, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker with about 1:55 remaining in the game, but it was to no avail as the Bruins held off Edmonton’s best skaters for the, 3-2, win at the final horn.

Boston finished the night trailing in shots on goal, 43-30, despite making things close in the third period– only trailing the Oilers, 16-15, in third period shots alone.

The Bruins left Rogers Place with the two-point victory in regulation as well as the lead in blocked shots (19-9), giveaways (20-15), hits (23-17) and faceoff win% (57-43).

Edmonton had the most success on the power play, however, having gone 2/5 on the night to Boston’s 1/3 conversion rate on the skater advantage.

In the end, though, the final score was all that mattered as the Bruins won, 3-2, and improved to 9-4-0 (5-2-0 on the road) when scoring the game’s first goal, 10-0-0 (6-0-0 on the road) when leading after one period and 9-1-0 (6-0-0 on the road) when leading after two periods this season.

The Oilers, meanwhile, fell to 7-9-0 (3-4-0 at home) when allowing the game’s first goal, 0-8-0 (0-4-0 at home) when trailing after the first period and 3-8-0 (2-3-0 at home) when trailing after the second period in 2021-22.

Boston visits the Calgary Flames on Saturday night to wrap up their Western Canada road trip (1-0-1) before returning home to host the Golden Knights on Dec. 14th at TD Garden.

NHL Nick's Net

Miller and Horvat sink Bruins in shootout, 2-1

J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat had the only goals past regulation in a, 2-1, shootout victory for the Vancouver Canucks against the Boston Bruins Wednesday night at Rogers Arena.

Thatcher Demko (10-11-1, 2.73 goals-against average, .915 save percentage in 22 games played) made 35 saves on 36 shots faced in the shootout win for Vancouver.

Boston netminder, Jeremy Swayman (7-4-2, 2.15 goals-against average, .922 save percentage in 13 games played) stopped 31 out of 32 shots against in the shootout loss.

The Bruins fell to 12-8-2 (26 points) overall and remain in 5th place in the Atlantic Division, while the Canucks improved to 10-15-2 (22 points) and moved into 7th place in the Pacific Division– ahead of the Seattle Kraken by two points out of the division basement.

The B’s went 1-0-1 in their regular season series with Vancouver in 2021-22.

Anton Blidh (upper body) took part in morning skate for Boston in a regular practice jersey, but isn’t quite ready to resume in-game action just yet.

Blidh was joined by Jakub Zboril (lower body) and Tomáš Nosek (non-COVID related illness) among the Bruins that weren’t able to compete on Wednesday night due to injury or illness.

Zboril will be re-evaluated in two weeks, while Nosek did not travel with the team to Vancouver.

Meanwhile, Charlie McAvoy was back in the lineup after missing one game due to a non-COVID related illness and Brad Marchand returned from his three-game suspension.

As a result, acting head coach, Joe Sacco, made a number of changes to his lines– reuniting Marchand with Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak on the first line, while relegating Taylor Hall back to his normal spot on the second line left wing with Charlie Coyle at center and Craig Smith at right wing.

Trent Frederic centered the third line with Erik Haula to his left and Nick Foligno on his right side, while Curtis Lazar shifted over to the fourth line center role with Nosek out on Wednesday.

Jake DeBrusk flanked Lazar’s left side and Oskar Steen took on right wing duties on the fourth line after he was recalled from the Providence Bruins (AHL) on Tuesday.

In addition to Steen, Boston recalled Jack Ahcan and John Moore, who joined Karson Kuhlman in the press box as healthy scratches for the B’s in Vancouver.

Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, remains in the National Hockey League’s COVID-19 protocol and likely won’t be back before the Bruins return from their Western Canada road trip.

Midway through the opening frame, McAvoy was assessed a holding minor when he got tied up with Jason Dickinson at 12:30 of the first period.

The Canucks, however, were not able to score on the ensuing skater advantage.

Vancouver got another chance on the power play in the dying seconds of the first period as Foligno was given an unsportsmanlike conduct minor at 19:57.

The Bruins would be shorthanded for about 1:58 to kick things off in the middle frame as a result.

After one period of play at Rogers Arena, Boston and Vancouver were tied, 0-0, on the scoreboard and even in shots on goal, 8-8.

The B’s held the advantage in blocked shots (8-5), giveaways (4-3) and hits (14-4), while the Canucks led in takeaways (2-1) and faceoff win percentage (54-46).

Only Vancouver had seen any action on the power play heading into the first intermission and the home team was 0/2 thus far.

Tyler Myers knocked Smith around without the puck and received an interference minor as a result– yielding Boston their first power play of the night at 8:14 of the second period.

The Bruins couldn’t convert on the ensuing skater advantage however.

Boston thought they had scored the game’s first goal when Haula received a pass on a breakaway entering the attacking zone before deking and scoring on a backhand shot that was elevated over Demko’s outstretched right pad, but the call on the ice was overturned as a result of Canucks head coach, Bruce Boudreau, using a coach’s challenge.

Boudreau argued that the Bruins had, in fact, not scored because Haula was offside prior to bringing the puck into Vancouver’s own zone.

Video review confirmed that Haula had both skates over the plane along the blue line while the rubber biscuit was still in the neutral zone along the line– negating the would-be goal.

Instead of a, 1-0, lead for Boston, later in the period Marchand was assessed an interference minor for a light collision with Dickinson away from the play at 14:27.

Whether the penalty was justified or not, it came back to bite the Bruins as Miller flung a shot pass towards the slot whereby Brock Boeser (6) redirected the puck past Swayman for the game’s first official goal.

Miller (17) and Quinn Hughes (19) tallied the assists to give the Canucks a, 1-0, lead on Boeser’s power-play goal at 15:01 of the second period.

Through 40 minutes of action at Rogers Arena, Vancouver led, 1-0, on the scoreboard despite trailing Boston, 17-16, in shots on net– including a, 9-8, advantage for the Bruins in the second period alone.

The B’s also led in blocked shots (14-10), giveaways (5-4) and hits (20-12) entering the second intermission, while the Canucks maintained an advantage in takeaways (5-2) and faceoff win% (52-48).

Vancouver was 1/3 on the power play, while Boston was 0/1 on the skater advantage heading into the final frame of regulation.

Juho Lammiko slashed Pastrnak to kick things off in the third period with a power play for the Bruins at 3:26.

Boston went on the two-skater advantage after Miller tripped up Swayman while passing through the crease at 4:42 of the second period– presenting the Bruins with 45 seconds of prime real estate in the attacking zone.

The B’s made quick work of the 5-on-3 advantage as they wrapped the puck around the zone prior to Pastrnak sending a shot pass in from the point to Bergeron (9) in the bumper for the redirection off of Demko’s left pad and under the bar.

Pastrnak (12) and Coyle (7) notched the assists on Bergeron’s power-play goal and the Bruins tied the game, 1-1, at 4:51 of the third period.

Moments later, Boston had another chance on the power play when Tanner Pearson sent an errant puck over the glass and out of play for an automatic minor at 7:22, but the B’s weren’t able to put the go-ahead goal on the board– especially not after Bergeron cut down Dickinson with a trip in the neutral zone while trying to steal the puck at 7:36, yielding a span of 1:46 at 4-on-4.

Vancouver didn’t convert on their abbreviated power play upon Pearson’s re-emergence from the box.

At the horn, the two teams required overtime to settle a, 1-1, score.

Boston led in shots on goal, 33-29, including a, 16-13, advantage in the third period alone, while also maintaining an advantage in blocked shots (19-15) and hits (27-19).

Meanwhile, the Canucks amassed a lead in takeaways (7-3), and giveaways (10-5) as both teams split faceoff win%, 50-50, entering the extra frame.

As there were no penalties called in overtime, both teams finished the night 1/4 on the power play.

Sacco sent out Bergeron, Marchand and McAvoy to begin the 3-on-3 overtime action, while Boudreau countered with Horvat, Dickinson and Myers.

Despite swapping chances and a few great saves by each goaltender, neither team could top the other in overtime, yielding a shootout and finalizing the stat lines at a, 36-32, total shots advantage for Boston (each team had three shots on goal in overtime alone).

The Bruins also wrapped up Wednesday night’s action before the shootout leading in blocked shots (19-15), hits (28-20) and faceoff win% (52-48).

Vancouver, meanwhile, finished the night leading in giveaways, 11-6, after 65 minutes wasn’t enough.

Boudreau sent out Elias Pettersson with the first shot attempt in the first round of the shootout, but Swayman poke checked the puck away as Pettersson tried a serpentine route towards the net.

Next, Pastrnak drew close to the net from a wide approach before sending a shot off of Demko’s glove and wide of the goal frame.

In the second round of the shootout, Miller started things with a wide skate towards the slot before cutting in and wrapping the puck around Swayman as Miller sold a fake and the Bruins netminder bought it.

Miller put the Canucks up, 1-0, in the shootout with Coyle designated as Boston’s second shooter.

Coyle came right at Demko and fired a shot off of the Canucks goaltenders’ blocker– low on the short side.

All Horvat had to do was score and the game would be over before the Bruins even had a third attempt.

Horvat curled towards the slot and beat Swayman high on the glove side with a clean shot– giving Vancouver the, 2-0, advantage in the shootout and a, 2-1, win on the final scoreboard as a result.

The Canucks improved to 2-1 in shootouts this season, while the Bruins fell to 1-1 in the shootout in 2021-22.

Boston also fell to 1-5-1 (0-2-1 on the road) when tied after the first period, 4-4-2 (1-2-1 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal and 2-5-2 (0-3-1 on the road0 when trailing after two periods this season.

Vancouver, meanwhile, improved to 6-7-0 (3-3-0 at home) when tied after one period, 6-4-0 (3-0-0 at home) when scoring first and 8-1-0 (4-0-0 at home) when leading after two periods in 2021-22.

The Bruins continue their road trip (0-0-1) through Western Canada with a matchup against the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday, followed by a visit to the Calgary Flames on Saturday.

Boston returns home to host the Vegas Golden Knights on Dec. 14th before another three-game road trip thereafter.