The Boston Bruins had their win streak snapped by a lackluster performance against the Montreal Canadiens. That 4-1 trouncing caught a complacent Bruins team not playing to their identity and they were outplayed and seriously embarrassed by their most hated rivals. The team knew they weren’t going to have a repeat performance of that game, especially at the hands of the worst team in the Western Conference (and second to the bottom in the overall standings), the Edmonton Oilers.
The Bruins played to their identity and put forth a solid sixty minute effort with very few technical mistakes. Chad Johnson earned his second career shutout(and his first as a Bruin) at the hands of an Edmonton team that seemed generally lost on TD Garden ice this afternoon. The first period was scoreless only through some rather solid crease work by Oilers’ goaltender Ben Scrivens. (Scrivens got the start due to his outstanding fifty nine save performance against the San Jose Sharks.) The anemic Oilers offense was only able to get two shots on goal during the first period (to nine for Boston). Shawn Thornton got the crowd fully engaged with a short by spirited five for fighting by taking on the Oilers’ Luke Gazdic.
The second period saw the Bruins get on the board with a power play goal provided by David Krejci. With Zdeno Chara screening Scrivens, Milan Lucic took a pass from Jarome Iginla and sent it to Krejci in the center of the offensive zone. His slap shot went through the traffic and caught Scrivens unawares. That goal would earn Krejci ‘First Star of the Game’ honors. He finished with six shots and two minutes of penalty time for 20:15 minutes of ice time.
The third period saw the Bruins opening up a shooting gallery on Scrivens and the Oilers. Dougie Hamilton showed off his knowledge of physics and his hockey IQ to play a rebounding puck in a great wrap around maneuver to bring the Bruins up 2-0. Carl Soderberg and Chris Kelly represented the third line well later in the period with a solid shift that got Soderberg a great shot that sailed past an ever wearying Scrivens to increase the lead to 3-0. The Bruins kept the pressure up and put up their second power play goal of the night, thanks to the hands of Torey Krug. Zdeno Chara was in the center trying to find an open man, and Chara gave it to Krug who fired it in glove side to make it 4-0.
The Bruins did what they were supposed to do, and they earned a solid two points. The only downside to this affair was the open shaming of the Oilers, and their captain (and beloved former Bruin) Andrew Ference. The Bruins organization put together a little video as a tribute to him, and the TD Garden crowd cheered loudly to celebrate his appearance. They also let up a cheer when he took to the ice for the first time tonight. The Bruins have a four point lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning with one game in hand. Every point will be crucial as they head in the Olympic break, and it’s great that the Bruins are back on track in padding their lead.