BOSTON — The Bruins didn’t get off to a hot start, fresh out of the All-Star break and it resulted in an uncharacteristic loss at home.

Hosting the Flames, one of the worst teams the Western Conference has to offer, on Tuesday night, Boston failed to put together any momentum after starting the game trailing Calgary 2-0. That deficit carried its way into the third period and although Pavel Zacha sliced it in half, leaving over 15 minutes on the clock in the period, the Bruins still let a shot at a comeback bid slip away from them while the Flames snagged at 4-1 victory.

Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery was surprised with the end result.

“I just didn’t think we were good,” Montgomery said. “Our effort was poor. Obviously, as the coaching staff we look inwardly, we look at our preparation. You always think as a coach your preparation is good, but obviously, it wasn’t good enough. A lot of mental mistakes, a lot of physical mistakes, and that’s a lack of real good preparation, individually and collectively.”

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Montgomery added: “I thought Calgary was physical. I didn’t think we were physical.”

The Flames pushed the B’s to the limit, both from a physical and mental standpoint. Over a baker’s dozen worth of times throughout regulation, both teams underwent shoving matches with one another, and Boston’s Brad Marchand got the worst of it. In the first period, Marchand was drilled by Calgary’s Martin Pospisil — who was given a five-minute penalty for cross-checking — in the facial area.

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“Their compete level was a lot higher than ours,” Marchand explained. “We just didn’t have the effort unfortunately so we gotta regroup and be better Thursday. I was surprised. We had two really good days of practice so I don’t really know what happened tonight.”

Zachel’s goal was followed by two more from the Flames, burying Boston’s chances at a last-minute comeback bid.

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Here are more notes from Tuesday night’s Bruins-Flames game:

— Jeremy Swayman made the start at goaltender for Boston and surrendered four goals, marking the fifth time in 28 games played in which the 25-year-old has allowed four or more goals in a game.

— Boston had nine off days from the All-Star break, but didn’t use that as an excuse for the loss.

“They outplayed us today. That’s something we have to learn from,” Zacha said. “Coming from a break, they came from a break too so that’s not really an excuse for us. Luckily we have a game (on Thursday) to take it back so that’s what we have to focus on.”

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— Both teams combined to rack up 41 penality minutes in the physical battle.

— Boston has six more remaining at home to begin the second half of the season, and will play the Flames for a second and final time on Feb. 22.

— The Bruins will get a day off before returning to action on Thursday night, hosting the Canucks. Puck drop from TD Garden is set for 7 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game, plus an hour of pregame coverage, live on NESN.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images