5 things we learned as new-look Bruins barely hang on vs. Flames

DJ Bean
March 01, 2016 - 4:39 pm
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One-game overreactions are silly, but here's one: The post-deadline Bruins are good enough to barely muster a win against one of the worst teams in the NHL. After Calgary was called for too many men on the ice with 4:07 remaining in regulation, Patrice Bergeron scored on the power play to break a third-period tie and give the Bruins a much-needed 2-1 victory over the hapless Flames. The win allowed the Bruins to surpass the idle Red Wings for third place in the Atlantic Division. The game saw trade acquisitions Lee Stempniak, John-Michael Liles and recent Providence recall Noel Acciari make their Bruins debuts. While none of the three newcomers wound up on the scoresheet, the Bruins managed the close win in a similar fashion to how they'd won many prior to their acquisitions: by Tuukka Rask keeping them in a low-scoring game that probably shouldn't have been so low-scoring. Rask, whose lone goal allowed came in the third period on Jakub Nakladal's first career goal, made 24 saves in the victory. The Bruins' schedule will get considerably more difficult from here on out, beginning with games Thursday and Saturday against the Blackhawks and Capitals, respectively. Here are four more things we learned Tuesday: STEMPNIAK SLOTS WITH BERGERON LINE As expected, Stempniak skated on the right wing of Bergeron's line with Brad Marchand. He also served as a penalty-killer for Boston. The journeyman right wing had shot shots on goal in his Bruins debut. He attempted an empty-net goal in the final minute of the game, but missed the net for an icing call. Liles skated alongside Adam McQuaid. Acciari centered the fourth-line with Landon Ferraro and Brett Connolly as the B's used the following lineup: Marchand-Bergeron-Stempniak Eriksson-Krejci-Pastrnak Beleskey-Spooner-Hayes Ferraro-Acciari-Connolly Chara-Miller Krug-Seidenberg Liles-McQuaid Rask SILENCE IS (BLACK AND) GOLDEN Despite the Flames entering Tuesday night with the third-fewest points in the standings in the NHL, they found a way to keep the Bruins very quiet. Though the B's picked it up in the third, they had just 14 shots on goal through the first two periods of Tuesday's game. HAMILTON BOOED Tuesday marked Dougie Hamilton's first game back in Boston, a fact of which the crowd was seemingly well aware. Hamilton, who was traded in the offseason after not wanting to re-sign with the B's as a restricted free agent, received loud boos each time he touched the puck Tuesday night. The young defenseman had a relatively quiet night otherwise, though he was on the ice for Landon Ferraro's first-period goal. NEW-LOOK FOURTH LINE FINDS RESULTS The Bruins have favored grit over skill with their fourth lines over the years, but Tuesday saw the debut of a line of Acciari between Ferraro and Connolly. The line came to be after Acciari was recalled and Stempniak's acquisition bumped Connolly down in the lineup. Having more skilled players than the type they'd had on the line at points this season (Zac Rinaldo, Tyler Randell) proved to work. After Connolly kept the puck in the zone during a first-period shift, Torey Krug fed Ferraro from the wall for the game's first goal.

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