This was an outstanding debut for the new-look Calgary Flames.
Andrei Kuzmenko, a trade acquisition who was instantly spotlighted on special teams, scored a power-play goal.
Waiver claim Brayden Pachal, who played in the third defensive pair, had a game-high six hits.
Despite all of the chatter about a retool, the Flames returned from their all-star break/bye week with a strong performance against one of the NHL’s top teams, defeating the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Tuesday at TD Garden.
“I think it was probably the most complete game we’ve had all year,” Flames forward Jonathan Huberdeau told reporters in Boston.
“This was one of our better games this year,” said Flames coach Ryan Huska. “I thought it was a really good team game, where the guys came to play the right way.”
Kuzmenko, who joined last week as part of Elias Lindholm’s return package, made an early impression for his new team, scoring on only his second shift of the night. That shouldn’t come as a big surprise, given that the 28-year-old right winger scored 39 goals for the Vancouver Canucks last season.
Connor Zary, Jonathan Huberdeau, and Noah Hanifin also scored against the Eastern Conference’s leading Bruins.
Huberdeau and Nazem Kadri each scored three points, and Jacob Markstrom made 21 saves and one assist.
The Flames showed no symptoms of rust in Tuesday’s first period, one of their best of the season.
They were given an early power-play opportunity, and Kuzmenko hopped the boards with the top unit. Just 32 seconds later, he took a pass from Huberdeau and beat all-star goaltender Jeremy Swayman with a glove-side sizzler from the slot.
Kuzmenko’s man-advantage goal came just 4:20 into his Flames debut, making it the fifth-fastest first goal in franchise history. (In case you were wondering, the club record was set by Eddy Beers in 1982 at 1:45.)
Zary’s goal was beautiful. Kadri drew the attention of three defenders before slipping a saucer pass to his rookie linemate, who finished with a brilliant deke to his backhand.
On a five-on-three power play early in the third period, the Bruins thwarted Markstrom’s effort for a second consecutive shutout after a nine-day break. Markstrom was tricked by a deflection after Pavel Zacha’s one-timer glanced off Hanifin’s stick.
The Flames regained their two-goal lead thanks to a determined individual effort by Huberdeau. During a four-on-four, Huberdeau won a puck battle with Charlie McAvoy before returning to the net and roofing a shot.
With approximately 10 minutes left, Hanifin slid a backhander past Swayman for another power play goal.
ICE CHIPS: Pachal’s half-dozen hits mark the second highest total of his NHL career. The 24-year-old was taken off waivers Sunday by the Vegas
Golden Knights. Huska applauded him for bringing an edge to the game tonight. “For his first game with us, I was very pleased with how he played” … Flames youngster Martin Pospisil, who had missed the previous four games due to injury, hit the showers early in Boston. Pospisil was penalized for cross-checking and game misconduct after injuring Brad Marchand during a scramble near the crease in the first period… The Flames’ four-game road trip will next take them to New Jersey. They will dance with the Devils on Thursday at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West/Sportsnet 960 The Fan.