Frolik scores twice to help Flames cruise past Bruins

Michael Frolik scored twice after sitting last game as the Flames handled the Bruins for a 5-2 win.

CALGARY — A healthy scratch for the Calgary Flames in their previous game, Michael Frolik scored twice in a 5-2 win over the visiting Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

“It feels good when you can help the team win the game,” the veteran winger said.

Frolik had to watch his teammates edge the Avalanche 3-2 in overtime Saturday in Colorado.

“I didn’t have the start I was looking for, but it’s a long season,” he said. “I just try to work hard in practice, get better every day and hopefully it’s going to turn around.

“Tonight was a good start. Hopefully I can keep going.”

Johnny Gaudreau collected his 100th NHL career goal and rookie defenceman Juuso Valimaki scored his first for the Flames (4-2-0). Matthew Tkachuk scored on an empty net.

Gaudreau crumpled after taking a high hit from Bruins defenceman Charlie McAvoy in the third period. Gaudreau played another shift, but the winger was then pulled from the game for concussion protocol.

Calgary head coach Bill Peters did not have an update on Gaudreau after the game.

Mikael Backlund and Michael Stone each contributed a pair of assists to Calgary’s second straight home win to open the season. Flames goaltender Mike Smith stopped 24 of 26 shots for the victory.

“I like the fact we have the ability to generate offence. Now, we’ll work on other things,” Peters said. “We’re not quite there defensively or our play away from the puck in the neutral zone, but when we get there, we’ll be a much better team.”

Patrice Bergeron countered for the Bruins (4-2-0) with a goal and an assist. Brad Marchand also scored. Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask turned away 24 shots in the loss.

“I don’t think we were as clean as we needed to be obviously against a team that forechecks and checks well,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That was clearly an issue throughout the game. Execution wasn’t good enough to beat a good hockey team.”

The trio of Frolik, Backlund and Tkachuk was the dominant forward line for the Flames both scoring and limiting the production of the Bergeron line.

“Fro has been outstanding in practices and his attitude’s been very good,” Peters said. “Everyone wants to play more, everyone wants more opportunity.

“You’ve seen what he did with his opportunity when he got back in the lineup. Took advantage of it.”

Calgary killed off Boston’s two-man advantage to start the third period and maintain a two-goal lead.

Marchand was lightly defended when he scored at 13:45 of the second. He took a pass from the far boards from Bergeron and wired the puck by Smith.

Frolik nearly completed a hat trick on a short-handed breakaway, but backhanded the puck over Boston’s net.

The 30-year-old Czech’s second goal stemmed from a Boston turnover in the offensive zone. Backlund flipped the puck across the slot for Frolik to tap over Rask’s stick at 3:32.

On Boston’s first rush after killing off Calgary’s two-man advantage, Bergeron scored at 2:40 on a give-and-go with David Krejci.

A David Pastrnak goal late in the first period didn’t survive a coach’s challenge by Peters as the Bruins were ruled offside.

Valimaki’s first NHL goal gave the Flames a 3-0 lead at 16:08 of the first period.

With Sam Bennett creating havoc in front of Rask, the 20-year-old’s shot from the top of the circle rolled over the goaltender and over the goal-line.

“I was happy actually finding out it was mine. Pretty awkward moment at the start because I didn’t know it was mine,” Valimaki said. “All the guys on the bench said ‘it’s yours’ and it felt great.”

Gaudreau collected his century goal at 15:20. At the top of the crease, Sean Monahan batted the puck down low to his winger and Gaudreau scored on a sharp-angled shot.

Frolik had half an open net for a target following a nice passing play by Tkachuk and Backlund.

Tkachuk hustled into the offensive zone to backhand the puck to Backlund moving into the slot. Backlund flipped the puck over to Frolik to score at 4:36.

The Flames are at home to the Nashville Predators on Friday.

The Bruins are in Edmonton on Thursday for the second game of a four-game road trip. Cassidy said Jaroslav Halak will start against the Oilers.

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