Marchand scores in overtime, Bruins beat Flames 2-1
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) After a blip in Vancouver, the Boston Bruins got right back to business.
”We ran into a hot goalie in Vancouver. Their goalie played great tonight, but we were resilient,” Marchand said. ”We were much better in the defensive zone and had a better game overall.”
David Pastrnak also scored for Boston (36-13-8), which moved within one point of Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference. The Bruins, who are 12-1-2 in their last 15 road games, have two games in hand on the Lightning.
Boston has lost only three times in regulation in the last 28 games (21-3-4).
”It starts at the top with leadership, and just having that constant belief we can do it, we can get the job done regardless of who we’re playing against,” Riley Nash said.
After TJ Brodie’s turnover deep in the Flames end, Nash’s pass sprung Marchand on a breakaway and he made no mistake, slipping the puck through the pads of rookie goaltender David Rittich for the ninth overtime goal of his career.
”(Nash) made a phenomenal defensive play,” Marchand said. ”I knew that they had three guys low and I just tried to get out of the zone. He made a great play to get it up.”
Brodie accepted the blame.
”Tonight was on me,” the Calgary defenseman said. ”I tried to pass to Johnny (Gaudreau). I could have passed it to (Sean Monahan), I could have shot it. It’s one of those things that looking back now, I definitely could have done something different.”
Matthew Tkachuk scored for the Flames (30-21-9), who fell to 1-3-4 in their last eight home games. They began the day one point out of third place in the Pacific Division.
”It’s like any slump – the harder you try, the more you grip the stick, the worse it is,” Brodie said. ”It’s not like we’ve been playing bad at home. We’ve gotten chances. It’s just one of those things where a bounce here and there, we could be talking about the same record as the road.”
With the teams meeting for the second time in six days, Calgary was territorially outplayed by a wide margin in the first period but Rittich kept the Flames in it.
Calgary tied it 1-all at 5:28 of the second, scoring on the power play. Monahan’s shot was stopped by Tuukka Rask, but as the puck lied at the feet of Zdeno Chara in the crease, Tkachuk knocked in his 22nd goal.
Rittich was starting his fourth game in a row, with veteran Mike Smith (lower body) still sidelined. Rittich was pulled Saturday night after giving up four goals on 15 shots.
”Huge bounce-back for Rittich,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. ”That team is a hard team to beat. You look across the league, not many teams are beating them. You can’t really beat them without goaltending and we got it tonight and it gave us a chance.”
The 25-year-old Czech goalie was especially sharp in keeping the score even at 1.
A minute after Calgary tied it, Rittich slid across the crease to get a glove on Marchand’s backhand out of midair after he was set up by Patrice Bergeron.
Late in the second, Rittich stabbed out his glove to rob Ryan Spooner on a breakaway. In the third, the goalie stared down Pastrnak on a breakaway and acrobatically got the toe of his left pad on a dangerous chance.
Rittich finished with 30 stops but fell to 6-3-3.
”It’s frustrating,” said Tkachuk, who has 14 goals in his last 22 games. ”They’re a really good team. Didn’t give us many chances at all. The ones that we did get, we’ve got to capitalize.”
Rask also was coming off a shortened outing in his previous start, pulled after giving up four goals on eight shots in the first period against Vancouver.
This time, he made 28 saves to improve to 24-10-4.
Boston struck first at 5:59 when Michael Frolik coughed up the puck along the sideboards in his own end and Pastrnak pounced on it, quickly firing a shot past Rittich on his blocker side.
NOTES: Flames D Travis Hamonic played in his 500th career game. … Calgary LW Morgan Klimchuk, drafted in 2013, made his NHL debut on a line with C Matt Stajan and RW Curtis Lazar. Every player selected in the first round of that draft has now played an NHL game. … The Bruins improved to 9-1-3 in their last 13 games against Calgary. … Boston is 23-1-5 when scoring first.
Bruins: Tuesday night at Edmonton.
Flames: Wednesday night at Vegas.
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