CALGARY — If you like chaos, this was the game for you.
The Flames jumped ahead by two less than three minutes into the game but that was far from all the scoring, as the Bruins stormed back in a crazy opening frame to take a 4-3 win in Calgary on Friday on the third game of their road trip.
“The message was halfway through the first, we have to go into the second with only three against,” said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy.
“Can’t get away from us, have to see if we can chip away, and we kind of did before the period was even over. That’s where we had to be better and get back to our style of defending well.”
The Bruins didn’t take a lead until early in the second period and held on against the Flames’ attack to win their fifth in a row and 11 out of their past 12 contests.
“Definitely not the start that you want,” said Patrice Bergeron, who scored twice. “I thought we showed some great resilience sticking with it and staying with the program and bounced back after those early goals. Then we settled down and played more sound hockey and didn’t give up as many followup chances.”
It wasn’t a smooth path to victory. After the Flames jumped ahead, the Bruins’ offense had a surge of its own before the scoring stalled deep into the contest.
“That’s our team. We know how to win,” said Cassidy. “We know how to play the right way, we’ll use everybody. Most nights it works out. Early this year, some of those got away. But I think our team is now at the point this time of year, and we always knew how to play that way and just got away from it.”
Just 20 seconds in Mikael Granlund put the Flames on the board with a shot from the slot. Two minutes later, he sniped a shot past Jaroslav Halak on a broken Bruins defensive effort.
Bergeron, who has goals in six of his last seven games, sliced into the Flames lead with a goal 24 seconds after Backlund’s second. For his 28th goal of the season, Bergeron chipped a rebound off a David Pastrnak shot past Cam Talbot.
The Flames kept up the quick pace and regained their two-goal lead less than half a minute later. Boston College alum Johnny Gaudreau tried to make a pass down low that deflected off a stickless Jeremy Lauzon and past Halak for a 3-1 Flames lead.
Bergeron, though, wasn’t done.
The B’s center needed less than three minutes to bring them back within one goal, as he tapped in a loose puck off the lively end boards right off an offensive zone faceoff.
With 12:20 gone in the frame, Charlie Coyle tied it. Anders Bjork blocked a shot at the defending blueline and passed to Karson Kuhlman, who found Coyle in the neutral zone and sent him off to the races, and he beat Talbot up high for the 3-3 score.
That pace didn’t stop early in the second.
Brandon Carlo rifled a shot from the boards 52 seconds into the frame and Brad Marchand tipped it in front of Talbot for the B’s first lead of the night, 4-3. It was his first goal in seven games.
The Flames got their second power play of the game 5:55 into the third, while the Bruins still hadn’t had a chance on the man advantage. The Bruins killed the third period penalty to keep their one-goal lead, thanks in large part to rookie defenseman Jeremy Lauzon, who also brawled with Calgary’s Matthew Tkachuk earlier in the game.
“The penalty kill got a little, there’s pucks going to the net, good for (the Flames),” said Cassidy. “You never know how they’re going to rattle around.”
Halak settled into the game after his rocky start, making key stops on the penalty kill and stoning Gaudreau late in the third. He finished with 18 saves.
The Bruins concluded their road trip in Vancouver on Saturday night. See UnionLeader.com for a story.