NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, February 22nd (All times eastern)
Boston Bruins (33-19-7) at Calgary Flames (31-22-8), 9 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Flames were able to stay red hot during freezing temperatures in Sunday's Heritage Classic. A visit from the Bruins may not be enough to take them down a few degrees either.
Having notched a point in 18 of its last 20 games, surging Calgary will try to avoid its first home loss to Boston in over 13 years as the two teams battle tonight at the Saddledome.
The Flames return indoors just two days after a 4-0 victory over the Canadiens at McMahon Stadium. Despite temperatures sitting around 16 degrees Fahrenheit at the start of the game, Calgary blazed to its third straight victory while improving to 13-2-5 in its last 20 games.
Rene Bourque scored twice and Miikka Kiprusoff made 39 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and 38th of his career. Anton Babchuk and Alex Tanguay also scored for Calgary, which played in front of more than 41,000 fans in Canada's first regular-season outdoor game since Nov. 22, 2003.
"It was just fun to be a part of this ... especially when you're looking out and seeing 40,000 people," said Bourque, whose team scored three of their four goals on special teams.
What may have been even more fun was the Flames moving into a tie with the Predators for fifth overall in the Western Conference, though they are just two points up on five other teams in the tight race.
Calgary is 7-0-2 in its last nine games as the hosting club and is a solid 18-9-3 in that capacity this season. The Flames should feel confident about extending their home point streak given that the Bruins haven't won in Calgary since Oct. 18, 1997, losing four games with a tie since.
Boston, though, has won two of its last three overall versus Calgary, including last season's 5-0 victory. Tim Thomas made 31 saves in the shutout, while Kiprusoff allowed five goals on 29 shots before being lifted early.
Thomas has struggled as of late despite leading the NHL with a 2.02 goals- against average and .938 save percentage. He has served as the backup to Tuukka Rask in Boston's last two games despite the contests being played on back-to-back nights.
Rask made 34 saves in Thursday's win over the Islanders to begin a six-game road trip and halt a three-game losing streak, then made another 32 saves in Friday's 4-2 triumph in Ottawa.
Brad Marchand scored twice, including one during Boston's three-goal third period, while Nathan Horton and Dennis Seidenberg also scored.
"It's no secret to me," Milan Lucic said of Marchand's play. "He knows exactly what to do and he's got a great shot."
Boston still holds a four-point lead over Montreal for first place in the Northeast Division and won in the debut of forward Chris Kelly and Tomas Kaberle.
Kelly was acquired from Ottawa last Tuesday, while Kaberle came over from the Maple Leafs on Friday for a pair of draft picks and a prospect. Boston also acquired forward Rich Peverley and defenseman Boris Valabik from Atlanta on Friday for forward Blake Wheeler and blueliner Mark Stuart. Peverley will make his debut tonight after practicing on Monday, while Valabik was assigned to the minors.
"What's kind of nice is a lot of the same systems are probably used here that we used down in Atlanta," Peverley, who had 14 goals and 34 points in 59 games with Atlanta this year, told the Bruins' website. "So I'm probably a little bit familiar with what I'm getting in to. There isn't too much of a change now."
The Bruins are an excellent 18-7-4 on the road this year.
02/22 11:05:20 ET