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Wednesday, 11 December 2013 16:07

Boston Bruins Escape With 2-1 Victory on Jarome Iginla's Return to Calgary

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For the first 53 minutes of Tuesday night's game between the Bruins and the Flames, Calgary fans were experiencing a perfect night.  They got to celebrate the return of Jarome Iginla and they were outplaying a first-place team.  Then in the span of less than two minutes, the Bruins showed why they are one of the best teams in the NHL, turning a jubilant night in Calgary into another come-from-behind victory for the B's.

David Krejci tied the game with a power-play goal with 6:11 left in the third, and Reilly Smith netted the game-winning goal just 98 seconds later, as the Bruins defeated the Calgary Flames 2-1.

The night started with a 15 minute ceremony celebrating the return to Calgary of Iginla, who spent 17 years playing for the Flames.  Iginla is the Flames all-time leader in goals scored, points, and games played.  Iginla also was a star off the ice in Calgary, with his charitable work being highlighted during the ceremony just as much as his Hall of Fame stats on the ice.  The Flames' fans gave Iginla a rousing ovation prior to the start of the game, with the chants of "Iggy!  Iggy!  Iggy!" engulfing the SaddleDome even after the puck was dropped to start the game.  Iginla also took a few laps around the ice after the third period ended, receiving more chants and applause from the fans, who undoubtedly thought they would be seeing a Flames victory for the majority of the night.

The Bruins, who are currently in the midst of both an injury bug and a sickness bug both running through the team, came out in the first two periods looking sluggish.  Without the work of goalie Tuukka Rask, the Flames would have been up by much more than one goal when the B's finally started to turn around their play to start the third period.  Rask made numerous great saves throughout the game, often in point-blank range.  Rask ended with 26 saves to pick up his 16th win of the season.

Jiri Hudler was the only Flames' player to find the back of the net past Rask, as his goal at 5:17 of the second period gave Calgary a 1-0 lead.  After Sven Baertschi tipped a loose puck out to center ice, Hudler picked up the puck and raced down the left side of the ice into the Boston end.  With Bruins' defenseman Dennis Seidenberg backing up, Hudler was able to find room to fire a wrist shot past Rask's glove side for the first goal of the game.  It was Hudler's ninth goal of the season.

With former Bruins prospect Joe Colborne in the penalty box late in the third period for a delay of game penalty, the Bruins took advantage of the power-play chance to change the momentum and tie the game at 1-1.  The Bruins set up their triangle around the perimeter of the Flames end, with both David Krejci and Milan Lucic looking to crash the net.  Zdeno Chara found Torey Krug at center ice, who fired a slap shot in on Flames goalie Reto Berra, which was deflected by Krejci's stick through his legs for the Bruins' first goal of the night. 

Berra continued to be under siege by the Bruins in the third period, and just 98 seconds later Reilly Smith beat Berra with a beautiful goal to give Boston the lead for good.  Smith took a feed from Ryan Spooner and worked his way down the right side of the ice.  He put the puck on his backhand side as he quickly approached Berra before making a sweet move to the forehand and flipping the puck over the Flames' goalie in tight quarters for the winning goal.  Smith has been a terrific addition this season for the Bruins, netting his seventh goal on the season while picking up his 21st point of the year, which puts him fourth on the Bruins in points scored.  Spooner, who was just called up on Sunday from Providence to replace the injured Loui Eriksson, picked up his third assist in just four games for the Bruins this season.

The Bruins continue their Canadian trip with matchups with the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night and their old friends in Vancouver on Saturday night.  Jarome Iginla will have another chance to score against his old team when the Flames visit Boston next Tuesday night.  Bruins fans will have a tough time giving Iginla the ovation he received in Calgary tonight.

Adam Belue

My name is Adam Belue, I'm from Fall River, MA, and I'm a sports fanatic.  I'll watch and write about just about any and every sport, even the fringe ones that aren't really sports like bowling, poker, and ultimate frisbee.  I'm a huge Green Bay Packers fan, and a self-proclaimed New England Patriots hater (and proud of it!)... which makes my job in a sporting goods store quite interesting.  I'm a big fan of the other local teams (Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics), along with the Alabama Crimson Tide and college football as a whole.  I may be a bit obsessed (or a lot obsessed) with Taylor Swift, and I've seen her in concert four times so far... some of the best times I've had by the way her concerts are quite the experience!  I'm also a huge tennis fan, and have played the sport for a good majority of my life.  I wish more people watched and appreciated tennis.  I'm currently a part of the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox Beat Team on CLNS Radio, and post a weekly fantasy football and college football column during the season.