In a showdown of two teams fighting for playoff spots, the Bruins showed up and were the better team from start to finish. The victory was complete in every way — from the power play, to the penalty kill, to the goal scoring to the goaltending. Tim Thomas was exceptional and Jarome Iginla was completely neutralized. The Bruins dominated in every facet of the game, which was reflected in the final score.
In the short term, the B's pick up another crucial two points. The long term? That will have to wait, but the team was in desperate need of giving the fans something to cheer about.
Third period, 1:44, 5-0 Bruins: Steve Begin is down on the ice. He got tangled up on a faceoff and fell flat on his face. He skated off the ice and looks to be OK, but that's easy for me to say: I'm wearing dress socks.
Third period, 1:50, 5-0 Bruins: Thomas turns aside a few more shots, giving him a clean 30 for the afternoon.
Third period, 3:43, 5-0 Bruins: It's just a matter of time now for the victory, and there's only one thing left to watch for. Considering I seemed to have spoiled something special for the B's earlier, I will keep it out of the blog. For now.
Third period, 7:37, 5-0 Bruins: There are penalty killers and there are penalty murderers. These Bruins are penalty murderers.
Third period, 10:47, 5-0 Bruins: Brett Sutter's drive just got stuck in the "B" on Tim Thomas' chest.
Third period, 12:02, 5-0 Bruins: Boychuk may be gone, but the organist is still here, and he just played Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" beautifully.
Third period, 12:59, 5-0 Bruins: Johnny Boychuk's day is done. He was called for a five-minute major for elbowing and given a game misconduct. Can the Flames score a goal per minute on this man advantage?
Third period, 12:59, 5-0 Bruins: The bounces continue to go the Bruins' way, as a Matt Stajan tip trickled just wide of the post. A second later, a scrum breaks out. Penalties are on the way.
Third period, 13:19, 5-0 Bruins: Have we even hit a TV timeout this period?
Third period, 13:45, 5-0 Bruins: Miikka Kiprusoff's day is over, as he was pulled and quickly made his way down the tunnel to the Calgary dressing room. Last time we saw that, Miikka was wearing a Finland uniform and it was the Americans putting the hurt on.
Tim Thomas got to get in some playing time for the U.S. that day. I'm thinking he enjoys facing Miikka.
Third period, 14:09, 5-0 Bruins: Ladies and gentlemen, the rout is on.
Mark Recchi couldn't tip home a perfect feed from Patrice Bergeron, but the veteran winger stuck with the rebound and flipped it past Kiprusoff for the Bruins' fifth goal of the afternoon.
Third period, 14:57, 4-0 Bruins: Noticing his teammates were scoring quite a bit and evidently wanting to join in on the fun, Shawn Thornton just dropped the gloves with Robyn Regehr. I'm going to have to give that one to Thornton.
Both players head to the box, and the Garden crowd is genuinely ecstatic.
Third period, 15:34, 4-0 Bruins: You know, some days, the puck just bounces your way. Patrice Bergeron just flung one toward the net. It deflected off Craig Conroy's skate blade and trickled past Kiprusoff for the dagger goal.
Dennis Wideman, despite falling over while carrying the puck through the faceoff circle, got an assist.
Third period, 18:48, 3-0 Bruins: The Flames did indeed come out guns ablazing, but Thomas and Recchi worked together to clear the puck from danger.
Second intermission, 3-0 Bruins: There are a few things the Bruins can do to put the exclamation point on this one. First, Thomas can finish with a strong 20 minutes. He doesn't need a shutout, but one could go a long way in restoring that man's confidence.
Second, they could come out flying and score an early goal. Calgary already felt a hit Friday night when the Red Wings extended their lead for the final playoff spot. An early third-period goal would sink them deeper.
On the other side, Calgary is far from out of this one. The Flames can easily score in the opening minutes to turn this one around. The first five minutes of this period may be the most important.
End of second period, 3-0 Bruins: It's hard to call this performance by the Bruins anything short of dominating. They've controlled the puck, made the most of their opportunities, and they've made all the stops with an impressive defensive effort.
Calgary had its chances, but Thomas and the B's defense turned them aside. Just as importantly, this building is full of fans that are happy to be here. So far, it's been a nice 40 minutes for the Black and Gold.
Second period, 1:42, 3-0 Bruins: The perfect game is over. I can't help but feel partly responsible.
In other news, Daniel Paille just missed on a breakaway attempt.
Second period, 4:33, 3-0 Bruins: The B's are heading back on the power play, as Robyn Regehr gets called for roughing. Regehr got a little too physical with Mark Recchi in the corner.
What's the protocol for a perfect game on the power play? Is it like baseball? Can we talk about it? Did I already spoil it?
Second period, 6:25, 3-0 Bruins: Say what you will about the Bruins, but holy cow, can they kill penalties.
Second period, 8:32, 3-0 Bruins: Steve Begin made some serious body contact in the neutral zone, bringing the crowd to a roar. The only problem was that, well, the puck wasn't exactly in the neutral zone. Calgary gets another chance on the power play.
Second period, 9:08, 3-0 Bruins: The Flames just had another golden opportunity on the power play, but Mikael Backlund whiffed on the doorstep of an empty net.
You hate to say it, but those might be the breaks that determine whether a team makes the playoffs.
Second period, 10:00, 3-0 Bruins: The Flames just had a huge chance on the 4-on-3, but Mark Giordano's stick snapped on a shot attempt. There was a mess of traffic in front, so anything on net would have likely been trouble, but the shot sailed well wide.
Second period, 10:55, 3-0 Bruins: OK, we get it, mister referee. You know how to say "goaltender interference."
This time, Blake Wheeler gets called for the infraction, though it looked like Ian White may have forced that one. In any case, this is by far the most goalie interference calls I've seen in one game at any level. Let's leave the goalies alone, shall we?
Second period, 11:58, 3-0 Bruins: Johnny Boychuk got called for holding Eric Nystrom, but just a second later, Nystrom plowed into Thomas. We'll skate 4-on-4, with Chara, Seidenberg, Bergeron and Sturm out on the ice for Boston.
Second period, 13:45, 3-0 Bruins: This place is going bonkers as Zdeno Chara just scored on the power play to give the Bruins a 3-0 lead.
Chara came streaking through the slot and took a feed from David Krejci. The captain controlled a wrister to beat Kiprusoff up high, and the B's are now 3-for-3 on the man advantage.
For a team that's heard a ton of boos at home this month, this is the kind of atmosphere it needs.
Second period, 14:42, 2-0 Bruins: Mark Recchi is impressive to watch. He's a small guy and he's an old guy, but he can plant himself in front of the net with no problem whatsoever. Are you watching, Joe Thornton?
Second period, 15:26, 2-0 Bruins: Tim Thomas just got run by Rene Bourque, and for the first time in what seems like far too long, Thomas' teammates had his back.
The Bruins head back on the power play, already 2-for-2 on the afternoon.
Second period, 16:11, 2-0 Bruins: Lucic is not 100 percent, but he's been showing signs of what he's capable of doing lately. He just had a great shift.
Second period, 17:11, 2-0 Bruins: Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk picked up assists on the play. It's pretty funny that the crowd was screaming for a Chara slapper on that man advantage, but it was Krejci's that got the job done.
Meanwhile, the Bruins are flying all over the ice right now. They're skating with a clear confidence.
Second period, 18:31, 2-0 Bruins: David Krejci just unleashed a bomb from the top of the faceoff circle. Thanks largely to Milan Lucic's presence in front of the net, Krejci's shot found twine, and the Bruins now lead 2-0.
Second period, 19:29, 1-0 Bruins: Craig Conroy will get reacquainted with the penalty box, this time for hooking.
Second period, 19:45, 1-0 Bruins: Second period is under way.
End of first period, 1-0 Bruins: The first period came to a close, welcomed with satisfied applause from the home crowd.
Tim Thomas looked comfortable, despite being out of action since March 15 (and even then, he played just one period). The power play also executed, generating two solid chances and capitalizing on its second one. Dennis Seidenberg scored his first goal in a Black and Gold sweater, and the Bruins have kept steady pressure on Miikka Kiprusoff.
First period, 2:45, 1-0 Bruins: That looked like a missed call, as Blake Wheeler was chopped down by Matt Stajan on somewhat of a breakaway. Stajan caught Wheeler above the knee, and the big winger fell to the ice, but no call was made.
First period, 3:27, 1-0 Bruins: Tim Thomas just pounded on a loose puck after Mark Stuart and Dennis Wideman did a nice job of cleaning up some garbage in front.
First period, 4:17, 1-0 Bruins: That was Seidenberg's first goal as a member of the Bruins, and it broke a lengthy power-play drought that B's fans need not be reminded of.
First period, 5:52, 1-0 Bruins: Marc Savard said before the game that he'd like to get back and help the B's power play, but his teammates took care of that one without him.
After Craig Conroy went to the box for tripping, Dennis Seidenberg teed one up from the point. Marco Sturm screened Miikka Kiprusoff and the puck found the net on the low blocker side.
First period, 15:15, tied 0-0: Big glove save by Thomas on Calgary's first shot of the afternoon. Kiprusoff answers with a nifty snag of his own just moments later. Glovely!
First period, 16:37, tied 0-0: Sobotka announces his return with a nice body check along the boards.
12:53 p.m.: Happy birthday to T.C.'s son, Robbie, who turns 10 today. Let's see if the B's can get him a victory on his big day.
12:51 p.m.: Marc Savard just spoke with the media for the first time since sustaining a Grade 2 concussion earlier this month.
11:58 a.m.: Vladimir Sobotka has been cleared to play after sustaining a minor concussion on Tuesday night.
10:40 a.m.: As a reminder, Marc Savard will address the media at 12 p.m. I'll have some updates as soon as that conference ends.
10:35 a.m.: That gap for Calgary between eighth and ninth place is now six points, as the eight-place Red Wings destroyed the Minnesota Wild on Friday night by a score of 6-2.
8 a.m.: All eyes in the TD Garden will be on Jarome Iginla, as hockey fans in Boston get a rare look at the Flames' sniper in a Saturday matinee.
Both teams are coming off losses, and both teams are in a fight to make the playoffs. This one should be good.
The Flames sit a handful of points behind the Detroit Red Wings for the final playoff spot in the West, while the B's hang on by the skin of their teeth to the eighth spot in the East. Every second of every game has crucial importance at this point, and after a 50-shot effort against Tampa that resulted in a loss, the Bruins simply need to finish.
The puck drops shortly after 1 p.m., so check back with the live blog leading up to the faceoff and throughout the game for updates from the Garden.