Kuzmenko scores in Calgary debut as Flames beat Bruins
Jonathan Huberdeau had a goal and two assists and Connor Zary also scored for the Flames, who held Atlantic Division- and Eastern Conference-leading Boston to five shots in the second period in a listless return from the NHL All-Star break for the Bruins.
“One of our best games of the year, obviously against a great team in a tough building," Kadri said. “I’m very proud of how we rallied and how we responded after some adversity and came up with a big two points.”
Pavel Zacha scored on a power play early in the third period for the Bruins, who opened a seven-game homestand with a flat performance.
“Physical. Mental. Both," Bruins defenceman Charlie McAvoy said when asked about Boston's many mistakes. ”We just weren’t good enough tonight. Obviously practice didn’t translate and they outplayed us."
“Every single night in this league can be a humbling experience, so I don’t think I’m going to look too far into it to be honest,” McAvoy said. “We’re the first-place team in our conference and we’re going to get everyone’s best, even more so than we did before. So this is good for us — to know what to expect from everybody.”
Kuzmenko joined the Flames less than a week earlier, arriving in a package deal from Vancouver in exchange for Elias Lindholm. It didn't take Kuzmenko long make an impact. He put the Flames up 1-0 on a power-play goal 4:01 into the game on a wrist shot off a centring pass from Huberdeau.
The goal came just 31 seconds after Brandon Carlo was called for holding Kadri, who also picked up an assist on the play.
Kadri added another assist nine minutes later after forcing a Bruins turnover deep in their own zone and taking it the other way, feeding a quick pass to Zara as he streaked in on Swayman and beat him with a backhand shot.
“This was one of our better games this year,” Calgary coach Ryan Huska said. “I think it was a really good team game where the guys came to play the right way.”
The Flames played the final 44 minutes down a forward after second-line winger Martin Pospisil levelled Boston captain Brad Marchand during a scrum in front of Calgary’s net with four minutes left in the opening period.
Marchand got a two-minute minor for slashing, while Pospisil received a five-minute major and game misconduct for cross-checking.
Although Boston entered the second period with a full minute left on the major penalty to Pospisil, Calgary dominated the period and outshot Boston 9-5. Boston didn’t get another power-play opportunity until early in the third, when Braydon Pachal went off for hooking at 2:48 and MacKenzie Weegar received a double-minor for high-sticking Marchand in the Flames’ zone less than a minute later.
Boston capitalized on the 5-on-3 when Pavel Zacha scored on a crossing pass from Pastrnak with 15:46 remaining, cutting the margin to 2-1.
Huberdeau, who was playing in his 799th career game, pushed the lead back to two goals a couple minutes later when he forced a turnover and fired a quick wrist shot past Swayman.
“Obviously a huge goal by Hubey — what a shot. He’s got to use that more often,” Kadri said. “I don’t think we ever really got deflated. We understood we were controlling most parts of the game and we just had to stay with it.”
Flames: Visit the New Jersey Devils on Thursday.
Bruins: Host the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
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