Ullmark makes 40 saves, leads Bruins past Flames 4-2
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Linus Ullmark is on a roll, and so are the Boston Bruins.
Ullmark made 40 saves and Brad Marchand had a goal and an assist as the Bruins beat the Calgary Flames 4-2 Saturday night.
Ullmark has given up two or fewer goals in each of his last five starts, winning four of those games. He improved to 7-5-0.
“You have to be able to rely on your goalie to come up big if you want to be a good team,” said Marchand. “He’s got to be able to keep you in it when the other team’s putting a lot of pressure on and make the big saves on the kill like he did tonight.”
“He came up big, especially in the first two periods again where we were at times hemmed in our end zone a little bit too much,” Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco said of Ullmark. “He made the quality saves when we needed it.”
Charlie McAvoy, Curtis Lazar, and Connor Clifton, with his first of the season, also scored for Boston. The Bruins have points in five straight games (3-0-2) and have gone seven consecutive games on the road (6-0-1) without a regulation loss.
Boston took five of six points on its western Canada trip.
“A lot of heart,” said Ullmark, who as a free agent last summer signed a four-year, $20-million deal with the Bruins. “We grinded it out and whenever we had the opportunity to put one in, we did it.”
Matthew Tkachuk and Sean Monahan scored for Calgary, which is winless in four games. Rasmus Andersson had two assists. Jacob Markstrom had 23 saves in the loss. He dropped to 10-6-5.
“(Ullmark) made some some big saves but at the end of the day, it’s on us as a team to get to the dirty areas and go to the net and get those dirty goals,” Monahan said.
Ullmark was the story for Boston — from the opening puck drop.
After stopping all 15 shots he faced in the first period as the Bruins took the lead, he had to made five saves — including dangerous chances from in close by Andrew Mangiapane and Milan Lucic — on an early second-period Flames power play that kept it 1-0.
The Bruins took control shortly after, surging in front 3-0 on goals 56 seconds apart from Marchand and McAvoy.
At 5:52, David Pastrnak gained the Flames zone, hung onto the puck as he curled back to get some separation from Andersson before getting a shot away that Marchand deftly struck out of the air and over Markstrom’s glove.
McAvoy made it 3-0 when he slid in from the point undetected and used Flames defenseman Nikita Zadorov as a screen to pick the top corner.
The Flames cut the deficit to two at 12:19 of the second on the power play. Tkachuk got the puck at the top of the crease after Andersson’s point shot didn’t get through and flipped it into the net for his 12th goal.
Tkachuk’s goal snapped an 0-for-15 drought on the man-advantage.
Boston restored its two-goal cushion three minutes into the third when Markstrom couldn’t control the rebound from Trent Frederic’s original shot and seconds later, Lazar knocked the puck in for his second of the season.
Lazar was back in the line-up after being a healthy scratch last game.
It remained 4-1 until Monahan scored with 1:36 left in the third.
Calgary outshot Boston 15-7 in the first period, but against the flow of play, the Bruins got the only goal off an innocent-looking rush with just over two minutes remaining.
After jumping into the attack and getting the puck as he skated down the side, Clifton sent a rising wrist shot from a sharp angle that eluded the glove of Markstrom.
“We believe in ourselves. We believe in the group,” Tkachuk said when asked about the mood of the team. “Stay positive, get back to having fun, and having fun winning and enjoying the grind of winning games.”
NOTES: The Flames lost in regulation against an Eastern Conference opponent for just the second time (12-2-3). … Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo (lower body) missed his second game.
Bruins: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday.
Flames: At Chicago Blackhawks on Monday.
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