BOSTON -- Defenseman David Schlemko capped his Calgary Flames debut by scoring in the eighth round of the shootout to defeat the Boston Bruins 4-3 at TD Garden on Thursday.
Schlemko was acquired off waivers by the Flames from the Dallas Stars on Sunday. He’s now 2-for-2 in shootouts after he beat Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask by deking to his backhand and then tucking the puck inside the right post with one hand.
“Maybe it was a little risky if we had to score to tie it, but I thought I might as well go for it,” Schlemko said.
Josh Jooris also scored in the shootout for the Flames (35-25-4), whose goals in regulation came from Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler. Goaltender Karri Ramo made 34 saves. Calgary, third in the Pacific Division, is 3-2-0 on its seven-game road trip.
“Well, like unbelievable, like you know, battles, like the Bruins deserve lots of credit too,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “I think that the fans saw quite a game. Up and down that third period, like, was like a pingpong game. It was back and forth. The teams were going for it. We understand the importance of the two points and it was two teams that were very desperate.”
Calgary blocked 37 Boston shots, led by defenseman Kris Russell with 15.
“You don’t really think about it, you just go out and play and try to get in front of as many as you can,” Russell said. “Sometimes they just seem to hit you, but I think as a team we did a pretty good job of getting in the lanes and taking away their second and third opportunities.”
Patrice Bergeron scored the Bruins’ shootout goal. Boston (31-22-10), holding the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, had its two-game winning streak end and has lost seven straight decided in a shootout. Brad Marchand, Loui Eriksson and Milan Lucic scored in regulation, and goaltender Tuukka Rask made 29 saves.
Boston had 89 shot attempts to Calgary’s 52.
“It’s a little bit of maybe confidence, and you squeeze your stick you’re trying so hard,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “There’s a lot of guys, use Carl Soderberg as an example. He’s really struggled the last little while scoring goals, and guys are putting pressure on themselves. There’s games where you like your team’s game, but your finish is what ends up killing you at the end.”
Boston scored first for the sixth straight game. Marchand retrieved a loose puck at the right side of the slot, circled the net and beat Ramo with a backhand on a wraparound at 7:46 of the first period. Dougie Hamilton shot the puck from the right point and Bergeron tipped it.
Calgary scored on the second of three consecutive power plays in the second half of the first period. Russell’s wrist shot from the right circle was knocked down in front, and Monahan shot past Rask at 18:49 to tie the score 1-1.
Lucic gave the Bruins their second lead at 2:30 of the second period. He beat Ramo with a one-timer from near the right hash mark after a pass from below the goal line by Ryan Spooner.
The Flames answered on a goal by Hudler at 14:26. He capitalized on a rebound off Rask after Mikael Backlund’s shot from the right point.
Gaudreau gave the Flames a 3-2 lead at 4:59 of the third period with his first goal in 16 games. The former Boston College star sent a wrist shot from the right dot through traffic past Rask.
The Bruins tied the game on Eriksson’s goal from in front of Ramo at 11:40 of the third. Eriksson settled a rebound and shot it top corner after Soderberg’s shot from the high slot was tipped by Chris Kelly.
In the shootout, Hartley wasn’t afraid to make the unorthodox decision to turn to Schlemko.
“Well, the scouting report was that David was very good in junior, and I had this in the back of my head, and then when the bench was starting to get a little thinner, I went to Schlemko and I said, ‘Are you good at this?’ He said, well, he said, ‘I’m 1-for-1,’” Hartley said. “So 1-for-1 is a pretty good average, so I said, ‘Let’s go,’ and Kris Russell turned around and he said, ‘He’s real good.’ So like he was, he answered my question very calmly, and I said, ‘Let’s go.’ And what a move. I think he’s going to get a stamp (like Peter Forsberg who used a similar move in the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics).”
The Flames continue their road trip Friday at the Detroit Red Wings. The Bruins host the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.