The Boston Bruins had lulled to sleep two fifths of the Northwest Division this week, and had the Calgary Flames listening to the same lullaby early on.
It wasn't long before the Flames changed their tune and had the Bruins singing the blues with a 3-2 victory -- their fifth straight to move into a tie for the division lead -- last night at the Saddledome.
Their wakeup call was an ugly goal.
Miikka Kiprusoff trotted behind his net to play a dump-in and had his pocket picked by Patrice Bergeron, who quickly wrapped around the post and deposited his second goal of the season into the empty cage 6:53 into the game.
"They got kind of a lucky one off the start but that happens in hockey games and you've got to play through that and know that's going to happen," said defenceman Dion Phaneuf, who watched helplessly from behind the net on the play.
It was the Bruins' fifth shot of the contest. At that point, the Flames still hadn't managed to get a single puck to Tim Thomas, who made his third straight start coming off back-to-back 1-0 shutouts over the Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks.
"They had a lot of confidence coming into the game with two big road wins. They came out flying and kind of put us back. By the end of the first period we were pushing them back and creating opportunities for ourselves," said Flames forward Dustin Boyd, who scored the winner in the third period with the Flames' 33rd shot of the night.
"In the second and third periods, we kind of put our foot on the gas."
Snapping out of their early daze, the Flames fought back and took total control.
They rattled off 20 shots in the second period alone while doing their best impression of the Detroit Red Wings, controlling the puck with crisp passes and getting the puck to the net at every opportunity.
Taking advantage of a couple of powerplays, they finally put themselves ahead.
Jarome Iginla's pass across the middle of the ice was knocked down by a Bruins stick, but Phaneuf bulled his way to the net and beat Thomas to the puck.
Phaneuf got the puck to the net again on the man-advantage near the end of the period with a booming slapshot, although what looked like his second goal of the night was given to Michael Cammalleri, who must have gotten a piece of it with his stick before it bulged the twine.
"Dion shoots it, I'm just going to the net from now on," said Cammalleri, unsure who got credit for the go-ahead goal. "He's got a killer shot."
The trick is not getting killed by it by standing in front.
"With my height, too, I'm like teeth-high for his shots," Cammalleri joked.
Phaneuf was grateful for the traffic. It's key to beating a hot goaltender. And Thomas was arguably the hottest of the week heading in.
"When you've got a goalie that's hot and a team that's blocking a lot of shots like they do, you've got to get pucks around their forwards and traffic on him," said Phaneuf, the game's first star. "We did that and we got results tonight."
Thomas had another impressive night, although Miikka Kiprusoff outdid him when it counted.