OUTCOME: In an all-out effort, the Boston Bruins completely outplayed, outhustled and outworked the Calgary Flames en route to a 5-0 victory Saturday at TD Garden. Goaltender Tim Thomas, who had served as Tuukka Rask’s backup in seven of the previous eight games, earned his fifth shutout of the season. He finished with 31 saves for his 17th career shutout with Boston. Bruins captain Zdeno Chara had a goal and an assist, extending his point streak to three games with two goals and two assists for four points. Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Mark Recchi all produced a goal and an assist today.
POSTSEASON OUTLOOK: Hello No. 7. With the Bruins’ victory over the Flames, and the Philadelphia Flyers losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Boston now sits in the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference. Both the Bruins and the Flyers have 80 points, but Boston has a game in hand.
TURNING POINTS: It’s alive -- alive. The Bruins’ power-play unit snapped an 0-for-22 skid and notched three goals while on the man-advantage. Dennis Seidenberg, Krejci and Chara all had power-play goals. Boston is 3-for-26 in the last nine games. Overall this season, the Bruins are 43-for-240 (17.9 percent).
SAVE OF THE GAME: Thomas made many of them against the Flames, but he made a statement very early in the first period that it was going to be difficult to get the puck past him. With the game still scoreless, the Flames’ Rene Bourque unleashed a slap shot from the top of the left faceoff circle when Thomas made a tremendous glove save. If Calgary scored here, it could have been a different outcome.
INJURY UPDATES: After missing one game with a mild concussion, Bruins forward Vladimir Sobotka was back in action on Saturday against the Flames ... Bruins defenseman Andrew Ference missed practice on Friday with a “maintenance day” and was out of the lineup on Saturday with an “injury,” according to the team. He’s missed a total of 23 games this season with a groin injury. He was given a three-year contract extension last Wednesday worth $6.75 million.
“His situation is still the same as it was before,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien. “We’re talking about a hernia situation and it’s pretty delicate that requires maintenance at times, so he’s still day-to-day but certainly wasn’t good enough today to be put in the lineup.”
THEY SAID IT: “Our power play was really clicking today,” said Chara. “We were able to make the plays. We were not looking for some fancy plays. We were just keeping it simple and we scored huge goals.”
UP NEXT: The Bruins host the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night at the Garden. The Sabres are among the top teams in the Eastern Conference and are tittering between the second, third and fourth spots in the standings.