Calgary Flames @ Boston Bruins, 5 PM MT, TD Garden, Boston MA
TV: ESPN+, TVAS, SNW
Radio: Sportsnet 960
Calgary Flames 25-12-4 (54) - Boston Bruins 22-14-4 (52)
The Flames bring their two game winning streak to Boston on Thursday night as Calgary will take on the Bruins. Calgary has come back from the holiday break playing some very good hockey, having dispatched the San Jose Sharks and the Detroit Red Wings to get their two straight victories. News out of the Flames locker room is that David Rittich might be available to play on Thursday, but if you were betting you’d put money on Mike Smith getting his second straight start after a solid performance against the Red Wings.
What else can you say about how well Johnny Gaudreau is playing? He was named the Second Star Of The Month on Wednesday for his 26 point month of December. He was named to the All Star team on Wednesday. Then all he did Wednesday night was collect his second straight four point game, including getting the game winning goal. That gives Gaudreau 14 points in his last six games. Just another day at the office for #13.
When you look at the Bruins you see how strong the East is compared to the West. Don’t get us wrong, we aren’t selling the Flames short, but Boston has two less points than the Flames and they are in 6th place in the Eastern Conference. Let that sink in for a few. The Bruins have won eight out of their last 12, including a 4-2 win over the Blackhawks at the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, but when they lose, they lose. The B’s have given up four or more goals in every single one of those four losses (three of the those games they gave up 5).
The Flames have scored the second most goals in the NHL with 146, but Boston has surrendered only 105 goals which is the third least amount allowed by a team this season. But putting all those numbers aside it can’t be forgotten what a house of horrors that TD Garden is for the good guys. The Flames are 2-6-0 in their last eight visits to the Hub and one of those was a 9-0 shellacking that this writer witnessed in person that he cannot forget. Boston is 13-5-0 at home and Calgary is 13-8-0 on the road, which means this SHOULD be a very tight and entertaining game.
Starting Goalies (E=Expected, C=Confirmed)
Flames: Smith (E)- 12-8-1, 3.00 GAA, .889 Save%
Bruins: Rask (E)- 10-8-2, 2.63, .914 Save%
Flames: Goals- Gaudreau (22), Points- Gaudreau (59), PIM- Bennett (70), Save%- Rittich (.920)
Bruins: Goals- Pastrnak (24), Points- Pastrnak (50), PIM- Marchand (78), Save%- Halak (.928)
What’s Happening With The Opposition?
Boston Bruins Coverage: Stanley Cup Of Chowder
David Pastrnak in the skills competition will be must-see TV. https://t.co/BjKqJ0sGYT— Stanley Cup of Chowder (@cupofchowdah) January 3, 2019
Last Time Out
Calgary Flames 5 - Detroit Red Wings 3
Boston Bruins 4 - Chicago Blackhawks 2
Players To Watch
Johnny Gaudreau (F): 22G - 37A, 14 points last 6 games
Sean Kuraly (C): 4G - 6A, 4 points in last 5 games