Takeaways: Goaltending falters as Flames’ historic streak ends

Boston Bruins forward Brad Marchand scored his league leading 36th, teammate David Pastrnak had two as their team defeated the Calgary Flames 5-2 and ended their 10-game win streak.

Like a compromised composite, the Calgary Flames‘ streak has been snapped.

Calgary entered Wednesday night’s game with the Boston Bruins gunning for a franchise-record 11th-straight victory and it looked like the Flames might make a little history when Alex Chiasson put them up 1-0 in the first period. But the Bruins—also on a roll of their own—stormed back to leave southern Alberta with a 5-2 win.

Now it’s up to Calgary to be more like the Minnesota Wild than the Columbus Blue Jackets in terms of picking up the pieces of a shattered streak. The Wild won 12 consecutive games in December before losing a marquee New Year’s Eve tilt with an also-hot Jackets club. After the loss, Minnesota gathered itself and won 10 of its next 13 outings.

Columbus, meanwhile, won only five of its next 12 contests after stringing together 17 Ws in a row earlier this year.

While the Flames figure out what they need to do to start a new winning run, here are some takeaways from the loss to Boston.

Chad was bad

A Chad Johnson apologist would be quick to note the Calgary backup hadn’t played since Feb. 24 and started this game under less-than-ideal circumstances when Brian Elliott—one of the driving forces behind the Flames’ recent success—was deemed too sick to play.

But there’s no getting around the fact this was not a banner night for Johnson.

After Chiasson spotted Calgary a 1-0 lead, Johnson allowed a soft first-period shot from David Pastrnak to slip through his wickets. Then, in the second, he muffed a long dump in by Colin Miller, allowing the puck to squirt right to Brad Marchand. The Bruins left-winger quickly deposited his league-leading 36th goal to give his team a 2-1 advantage.

While Boston was full marks for the win, outshooting the Flames 32-23, Calgary unquestionably needed more from its man in the crease.

Quiet forwards

Calgary scored fewer than two goals in a game just once during its winning streak, but the offence dried up against Boston. The Flames struggled to get much in the way of a sustained attack, as No. 1 centre Sean Monahan was held without a shot on goal, while Johnny Gaudreau also had a quiet night.

In fact, Gaudreau’s only involvement in a scoring play came when his turnover inside the B’s blue line led to a counterattack and an eventual bury by David Backes.

Stajan hits milestone

Matt Stajan, a permanent member of hockey’s All Nice Guy Team, picked up his 400th career point with an assist on Chiasson’s goal. The former Toronto Maple Leaf remains an integral part of the Flames fourth line as the team marches toward a playoff berth.

The 33-year-old has now played 479 games with Calgary, 34 more than he suited up for with the Leafs.

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Treliving sees room for growth, Bettman eyes a build

In separate first-period interviews, Calgary GM Brad Treliving spoke about his team’s current state, while NHL commissioner Gary Bettman mused about a future Flames home.

Treliving said the biggest difference for Calgary during its hot patch has been consistent play, and the GM credited his coaching staff for staying on message from Day 1. And while he’s obviously pleased with the way things have gone, Treliving believes his squad has another gear yet.

“I still think there’s more that we can give and more that we can get,” he said.

Bettman, meanwhile, spoke about the possibility of Calgary following the path of its Alberta cousins, the Edmonton Oilers, who began play in a sparkling new facility this season.

“The Flames—the city of Calgary—need a new building,” he said. “It’s a work in progress and It think with the right commitment from the city, I know Flames ownership is really working hard to get a new building and hopefully it’ll be a reality sooner rather than later.”

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