Boston Bruins Find a Late Winner, Steal Win from Oilers

EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 20: Noel Acciari
EDMONTON, AB - FEBRUARY 20: Noel Acciari /

The best thing about this Boston Bruins team is they are never out of a game.  Last night’s battle in Edmonton is a perfect example of that.

After an impressive OT win against the Flames on Monday afternoon, the Boston Bruins traveled due North to Edmonton to take on a few old friends and possibly the best player in the NHL in Connor McDavid.

Period 1

The first scoring chance of the game belonged to the hosts as a great rush by Leon Draisaitl opened up the Bruins defense and lead to a mini breakaway for Kris Russell, but he hit the post to keep the game knotted at 0-0.  Later in the period, the Bruins went on the powerplay and after a few too many passes along the blue line and loss of possession, the B’s did get some decent looks that Oilers goalie Cam Talbot knocked away.

Late in the period the teams played some 4 on 4 hockey after a Torey Krug slashing penalty and Brandon Davidson embellishment call.  With a minute and a half remaining the Oilers rushed into the zone on a 2 on 1 break, and Ryan Strome beat Anton Khudobin to give the Oilers a late 1-0 lead.  At the end of 20 minutes, the Bruins lead in shots 13-3, but the Oilers would lead on the scoreboard 1-0.

Period 2

Early in the period, the Bruins went on their second powerplay of the game and much like the first, not much occurred.  As the period wore on, the Bruins got more and more chances but still couldn’t convert.  David Pastrnak would hit the post after a great steal by Patrice Bergeron at center ice.  Later, on a quick counter attack, Matt Grzelcyk would also hit the post to continue the Bruins goal scoring struggles this game.

Midway through the period, the Oilers would double their lead.  On a swift Oilers rush after a bad Krug pinch, Jujhar Khaira would join as the third high skater and would bank the puck off of both posts and past Khudobin to give Edmonton a 2-0 lead.

The Bruins would soon after go on their third powerplay of the night and desperately needed a goal.  In a crazy goal mouth scramble, the puck was just sitting in the crease but somehow the Bruins couldn’t knock the puck past Talbot and the score remained 2-0 Oilers.

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After the power play expired, Khudobin made a great sprawling pad save to stop a Connor McDavid bid to keep it a 2 goal game.  It was one of those saves that you keep in the back of your mind as a game changer if the Bruins were to come back and win.  With all of that, though, the second frame would end 2-0 home squad, but with the Bruins leading in shots 29-14.

Period 3:

Entering the final 20 minutes of the game, the Bruins were struggling to finish, couldn’t get any puck-luck, and were chasing a 2 goal deficit.  The Bruins and Oilers would trade chances early as Talbot made a big save on Danton Heinen then the Oilers would hit the post to keep the score 2-0.

The Bruins would finally get some puck luck as Noel Acciari on a wrap around would bank the puck off of Ryan Strome and into the net to cut the lead in half.  Now down 1, the Bruins would equalize soon after.  With some decent zone time, puck would find its way over to Grzelcyk after a Charlie McAvoy shot and Grzelcyk would deposit the puck into the vacated net to tie the game at 2.  The assist by Riley Nash was the highlight of this goal though.

The Bruins had come back from 2 down in the third period and they weren’t done yet.  With 1 minute to go in regulation and overtime seemingly imminent, the Bruins entered the attacking zone on a mission.  David Backes would find Heinen behind the net, who then would find an open David Krejci in front of the net.  Krejci then sniped the puck passed Cam Talbot to give the Bruins a late 3-2 lead.  The Bruins would go on the penalty kill after the goal, but they would kill it off to finish a great come from behind victory over the Oilers 3-2.

Next: Bruins acquire Nick Holden from New York Rangers

Short Shifts

  • Khudobin’s superb stop on McDavid in the 2nd could be what sparked the comeback as that save kept the game at 2-0.
  • This is the first game all season that the Bruins have fallen behind by 2 goals and won the game.
  • Even in victory, the powerplay units need some work.  An effective powerplay would have helped the B’s early in this game and maybe not have needed a last minute comeback.
  • The Chara-McAvoy pairing really shut down the McDavid line as he didn’t have a huge impact offensively and was a -1 with only 2 shots on goal.
  • Next up: Saturday at Toronto in a potential playoff preview.