CALGARY, Alberta — Michael Frolik went from healthy scratch to catalyst for the Calgary Flames.
Frolik scored two goals to lead the Flames to a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night.
“It feels good when you can help the team win the game,” the veteran winger said.
Frolik had to watch his teammates edge the Avalanche 3-2 in overtime Saturday in Colorado.
“I didn’t have the start I was looking for, but it’s a long season,” he said. “I just try to work hard in practice, get better every day and hopefully it’s going to turn around.
“Tonight was a good start. Hopefully I can keep going.”
Johnny Gaudreau collected his 100th NHL goal and rookie defenseman Juusu Valimaki scored his first for the Flames. Matthew Tkachuk added an empty-net goal.
Mikael Backlund and Michael Stone each had two assists as Calgary won its second straight home game. Goaltender Mike Smith stopped 24 of 26 shots in the win.
“I like the fact we have the ability to generate offense. Now, we’ll work on other things,” Calgary coach Bill Peters said. “We’re not quite there defensively or our play away from the puck in the neutral zone, but when we get there, we’ll be a much better team.”
Patrice Bergeron had a goal and an assist for the Bruins. Brad Marchand also scored. Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask turned away 24 shots in the loss.
“I don’t think we were as clean as we needed to be obviously against a team that forechecks and checks well,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “That was clearly an issue throughout the game. Execution wasn’t good enough to beat a good hockey team.”
The Bruins trailed 4-2 heading into the final period.
Marchand was lightly defended when he scored at 13:45 of the second, taking a pass from Bergeron and scoring past Smith.
Frolik nearly completed a hat trick on a short-handed breakaway, but his backhanded shot sailed over the Boston net. The Czech’s second goal came results from a Boston turnover in the offensive zone. Backlund flipped the puck across the slot, and Frolik tapped it over Rask’s stick at 3:32.
On Boston’s first rush after killing off Calgary’s two-man advantage, Bergeron scored at 2:40 on a give-and-go with David Krejci.
What appeared to be a goal by David Pastrnak late in the first period didn’t survive a coach’s challenge by Calgary’s Bill Peters. The Bruins were ruled offside.
Valimaki’s first NHL goal gave the Flames a 3-0 lead at 16:08 of the first period.
With Sam Bennett in front of Rask, the 20-year-old Valimaki’s shot from the top of the circle rolled over the goaltender and over the goal line.
“I was happy actually finding out it was mine. Pretty awkward moment at the start because I didn’t know it was mine,” Valimaki said. “All the guys on the bench said ‘it’s yours’ and it felt great.”
Gaudreau collected his milestone goal at 15:20. At the top of the crease, Sean Monahan batted the puck down low to the winger, and Gaudreau scored from a tough angle.
Frolik had half an open net for a target following a nice passing play by Tkachuk and Backlund. Tkachuk hustled into the offensive zone to backhand the puck to Backlund, who was moving into the slot. Backlund flipped the puck over to Frolik to score at 4:36.
NOTES: Flames: Gaudreau crumpled after taking a high hit from Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy in the third period. Gaudreau played another shift, but was then pulled from the game for concussion protocol. Calgary head coach Bill Peters did not have an update on Gaudreau after the game.
Bruins: Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said goaltender Jaroslav Halak will get a start against the Oilers in Edmonton on Thursday.
Flames: Home against Nashville on Friday.
Bruins: At Edmonton on Thursday.