Despite the Boston Bruins' winning streak coming to an end, coach Claude Julien has been more than pleased with his squad recently given the circumstances.
Boston looks to extend its recent home dominance and win a fifth straight meeting with the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
With multiple players feeling the effects of the flu, the Bruins (22-9-2) had their four-game win streak snapped with Saturday's 6-2 loss to Vancouver. They were informed earlier in the day that Shawn Thornton was handed a 15-game suspension for attacking and subsequently concussing Pittsburgh defenseman Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7.
Reilly Smith scored both goals, and he totaled four along with two assists on Boston's 3-1-0 road trip.
The Bruins now return home, where they have won five straight and are 9-0-1 over their last 10 while allowing 16 goals.
"We've been through a lot this week, battling the flu. We came out of this road trip 3-1, so I can't complain," Julien said. "I can't say enough honestly about how our guys battled through it all, and the score (Saturday) is unfortunate because it wasn't indicative of our effort and the character and the guts our guys showed."
Tuukka Rask didn't have any excuses for his performance, as he allowed four goals on 23 shots before being pulled less than two minutes into the third. He went 3-1-0 with a 1.76 goals-against average in his previous four starts.
"I was pretty bad," Rask said. "I thought we played a good game as a team. I wasn't able to help too much."
Rask made 26 saves last Tuesday in a 2-1 win at Calgary, and he's won both of his career starts against the Flames while stopping 51 of 52 shots.
David Krejci and Smith scored in the third period of that last matchup, and the Bruins have outscored Calgary 19-2 during their four-game winning streak in the series. Krejci has three goals and five assists during that run.
Jiri Hudler scored in last week's meeting for the Flames (13-15-5), who had won two straight prior to Sunday's 4-3 shootout loss to the New York Rangers. Hudler assisted on goals from Curtis Glencross and Sean Monahan.
Monahan, the 19-year-old rookie who is tied for the team lead with 10 goals, was playing his second game after missing seven with a broken foot.
Calgary failed to convert on a power play in overtime before losing in the seventh round of the shootout.
"Thought we'd get it done in overtime, but we couldn't execute on the power play," captain Mark Giordano said. "We're not happy with the point. It should have been two. If you get a power play in overtime, you should win."
Giordano did assist on Mikael Backlund's first-period goal which ended Calgary's four-game drought on the power play. The Flames are among the league's worst with the man advantage at 14.3 percent.
Karri Ramo, starting back-to-back games after stopping 26 shots in Saturday's 2-1 overtime win over Buffalo, made 29 saves. He's 4-1-1 with a 1.63 GAA over his last six.
"It was a big battle all night," Ramo said. "Not happy about the goals I allowed. Sometimes you just have to take the point and move on. We played good enough to win."
It's unclear if Ramo will get the start in this contest. Reto Berra's last outing came when he made 22 saves against Boston last week.
Calgary is 4-1-1 on the road after a 3-7-1 start away from home.
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