FRO­LIK RE­BOUNDS AGAINST BRU­INS

Flames winger scores two in win after be­ing benched

Calgary Herald - - SPORTS - KRIS­TEN AN­DER­SON kan­der­[email protected]­media.com Twit­ter.com/KDotAn­der­son

Bill Peters wanted to see a few things from his club’s start to Wed­nes­day’s hockey game against the Bos­ton Bru­ins.

In no par­tic­u­lar or­der: “En­ergy.”

“Some O -zone time.” “Limit scor­ing chances against, hope­fully none in the first five or six min­utes.”

And?

“Hope­fully you get to the TV time­out and we’re up 1-0 or bet­ter,” the Cal­gary Flames head coach said Wed­nes­day morn­ing at Sco­tia­bank Sad­dle­dome.

Sure enough, the Flames — fac­ing the Bos­ton Bru­ins, who en­tered the build­ing with a 4-1-0 record along with eight first pe­riod goals — lis­tened to their bench boss and were up 1-0 when the crew cleared the ice with 9:03 re­main­ing in the first pe­riod.

And, en route to an even­tual 5-2 vic­tory, there was plenty more to like be­sides their start (which saw them up 3-0 after the first 20 min­utes).

Michael Fro­lik al­most sin­gle­hand­edly got the job done.

Fresh off Satur­day’s healthy scratch, the 30-year-old right winger re­joined the team’s sec­ond line with Mikael Back­lund and Matthew Tkachuk with some­thing to prove.

Called out by Peters ear­lier in the week, Fro­lik hit the ice and cre­ated the first scor­ing chance on Bru­ins goalie Tuukka Rask, set­ting up Back­lund on a two-onone. At 5:34, Fro­lik com­pleted a pretty pass­ing play be­tween Tkachuk and Back­lund for a goal, likely giv­ing him some re­lief after the press box de­mo­tion.

There was lots to praise else­where, too, as Johnny Gau­dreau scored his 100th NHL goal with 4:40 re­main­ing and Ju­uso Val­i­maki net­ted his first NHL marker be­fore the first pe­riod was over.

While Pa­trice Berg­eron lifted the Bru­ins within two goals at the 2:40 mark of the sec­ond pe­riod, the Flames re­sponded with some re­silience — and an­other Fro­lik goal to take a 4-1 lead.

He wasn’t done. Shortly after pot­ting his sec­ond of the game, Fro­lik and Elias Lind­holm nearly both scored on a short-handed break­away while the Flames killed off a Michael Stone in­ter­fer­ence penalty.

The Flames killed off a key fiveon-three to start the third pe­riod and didn’t al­low a sin­gle Bru­ins shot: their penalty kill was solid all night. But their power play still needs work.

Although they were win­ning at the time of a third-pe­riod man ad­van­tage — Char­lie McAvoy crushed Gau­dreau after Rask stopped him on a break­away — they couldn’t gen­er­ate any of­fence.

The Flames fin­ished the game 0-for-4 and are now 5-for-29 on the sea­son, not good enough for a team that was sup­posed to have im­proved their power play in the off-sea­son.

The Flames re­ceived solid goal­tend­ing from Mike Smith, who came up big in the first five min­utes on a flurry of stops on Ryan Donato, David Backes and Bran­don Carlo. The 36-year-old net­min­der who was last seen in a 5-3 loss at St. Louis last week was also huge dur­ing a sec­ond-pe­riod penalty kill right after Brad Marc­hand cut the Flames’ lead to two goals.

Speak­ing of Marc­hand, he and Berg­eron made quick work of the Flames’ third de­fence pair­ing; Berg­eron quickly fooled Val­i­maki and sent a pass to Marc­hand, who sneaked be­hind Stone to tap one past Smith.

Still, Smith made 23 saves for his third win of the sea­son as the Flames out­shot the B’s 29-25 and im­proved to 4-2-0.

AROUND THE GLASS

The Bru­ins had a goal waved off in the first pe­riod when Berg­eron went off­side, a smart chal­lenge by Flames video coach Jamie Pringle, who made the call … LW Johnny Gau­dreau’s 100th NHL goal in his 318th NHL game made him the sec­ond-fastest New Jer­sey-born player to hit 100 ca­reer goals … Gau­dreau, after ab­sorb­ing Mc­Coy’s crush­ing blow into the boards, left the bench late in the third pe­riod and didn’t re­turn. Sam Ben­nett moved into his spot on the top line.

HAM­MER BACK

Wear­ing a yel­low jer­sey and sport­ing a face shield, Travis Ha­monic was skat­ing on Wed­nes­day with the rest of the Flames for the first time since un­der­go­ing fa­cial surgery.

“Real good,” Peters said of see­ing Ha­monic on the ice. “Good for our group and good for him. I think it’ll help him. He’ll get back as quick as he can. I don’t know what the time­line is for that yet but I know he’ll get back as soon as he can. I think this is right on sched­ule for get­ting on the ice but I don’t know what his re­turn date will be.”

The 28-year-old de­fence­man was in­jured dur­ing a fight with Erik Gud­bran­son in the first game of the sea­son and has missed the pre­vi­ous five in­clud­ing Wed­nes­day’s clash against the Bos­ton Bru­ins.

But to have him back on the ice was a morale booster.

“You get your team back to­gether, right?” Peters said. “One of your team­mates, one of the guys that’s in our lead­er­ship group and he’s a vo­cal guy. He means a lot to our room.”

FLAMES NOTE­BOOK

D Ju­uso Val­i­maki scored his first NHL goal … C Dil­lon Dube sat out of the game and wasn’t on the ice for the morn­ing skate. The 20-year-old rookie for­ward is deal­ing with a lower body in­jury after block­ing a shot dur­ing last week’s 3-0 win at Nash­ville. “He had a main­te­nance day (Tues­day) and re­sponded real well to that,” Peters said. “He had an­other one (Wed­nes­day) and hope­fully that should be it.” … There were no con­cerns about a lin­ger­ing lower body in­jury for C Sean Mon­a­han, who took Mon­day’s prac­tice off to rest his foot which ab­sorbed a shot Satur­day. “He had a good main­te­nance day,” Peters said.

GAVIN YOUNG

Flames winger Michael Fro­lik cel­e­brates with Mark Gior­dano after scor­ing his sec­ond goal of the night dur­ing Wed­nes­day’s 5-2 vic­tory over the Bru­ins at the Sco­tia­bank Sad­dle­dome.

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