Recap: Bruins’ defense crumbles late in 5-3 loss to Oilers

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 11: Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins looks on after allowing a goal from the Edmonton Oilers during the second period at TD Garden on November 11, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - NOVEMBER 11: Linus Ullmark #35 of the Boston Bruins looks on after allowing a goal from the Edmonton Oilers during the second period at TD Garden on November 11, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The Boston Bruins held a 3-2 lead against the Edmonton Oilers heading into the final period on Thursday.

And then the defense *literally* gave it away.

The Bruins fell 5-3 against the Oilers to drop to 6-5-0 on the season. Leon Draisaitl scored the game-tying and game-winning goals for Edmonton, who improved to 10-2-0.

David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Brandon Carlo scored the three Bruins goals. Patrice Bergeron had two assists and Linus Ullmark made 23 saves on 28 shots faced.

1st period

Going against a great offense like the Oilers, you knew the Bruins couldn’t afford to fall behind first. Pastrnak made sure to get the Bruins on the board early, beating Mikko Koskinen under the glove just 4:45 into the first.

Pastrnak, like Bergeron, had a slow start to the season but he’s starting to heat up. He has five points in his last three games.

Well that lead lasted a grand total of 44 seconds as Evan Bouchard ripped a shot bar-down.

Marchand. What the hell change is that. That’s an inexcusable mistake to make, as he left Bouchard wide open in the slot. 1-1 game after one.

2nd period

The Bruins were able to grab a goal about five minutes into the second when Marchand made up for the Bouchard goal by cleaning up a rebound in front.

Really great defensive read by Bouchard to block Pastrnak’s pass attempt to Bergeron, but it went right to Marchand’s backhand.

Oh, what’s that? A Boston lead lasting less than a minute? Surely not twice in a row!

This time it only took 24 seconds for the lead to vanish as Zach Hyman powered his way to the net and beat Ullmark on a backhand to tie the game 2-2.

Not great defensive work by Jake DeBrusk. Somehow Derek Forbort allows Jesse Puljujarvi to tie him up and render him useless. Would like Ullmark to get a blocker on it.

The Bruins were able to regain the lead again thanks to a Carlo slap shot, his first of the season.

A really weak goal to let in by Koskinen. Both the Carlo and Pastrnak goals were easily stoppable, but he couldn’t get the glove on them. Boston will certainly take them and the team took a 3-2 lead into the 3rd.

3rd period

And this ladies and gentlemen, is where we say the wheels fell off. After putting the Bruins back up by one, Carlo was nice enough to assist on Draisaitl’s equalizer.

Carlo mishandled the puck and gave it away right to Draisaitl in the slot. Tough giveaway from someone who is usually quite reliable with the puck.

About three minutes later, Draisaitl continued to be a nightmare for Carlo as he out-positioned him in front of the net, got open and Cody Ceci found him for the tap-in goal to give the Oilers the 4-3 lead.

Very unlike Carlo on both goals. Not great defensive work again by DeBrusk either. He’s not moving his feet and letting Ceci get by him.

Not so great work on the defensive zone, you say? Connor Clifton turns the puck over in the corner and it redirects right into the slot. Ullmark comes up with a couple big saves but the puck eventually finds Ceci up top. With Ullmark sprawling on the ground, Ceci ripped it top shelf for the two-goal advantage.

Just really not good play in their own zone by the Bruins. And it really cost them in this one.

A very winnable game that would have been a statement win for Boston. Instead, it should a number of issues continuing to haunt this team as they fell 5-3.


  • Carlo said it himself after the game, that third period was probably the worst period of hockey he’s had in the defensive zone. It’s hard to get too worked up over it considering how rare it is for him to have miscues like that in his own zone, but it cost Boston two goals
  • He certainly wasn’t the only one having a rough night in the D-zone. You really can look at all five goals and find horrible mistakes on every one. The bad Marchand change. The poor effort from DeBrusk/Forbort. Carlo turnover. Carlo’s failure to tie up. And finally Clifton’s turnover. The defense continues to be a big issue and will continue to handicap this team
  • Before Carlo’s third goal, the Bruins held a lead for a total of 68 seconds. That’s unacceptable when you have scored two goals. Once is bad enough, but to do it twice is just atrocious
  • You can’t really put any of this game on Ullmark. The second goal, sure. But other than that, you can’t really blame him. He was left hung out to dry and made some big saves here and there, but the units in front of him really let him down
  • On the positive side, a combined five points from the top line. They were on the ice for all three Boston goals as Bergeron and Pastrnak look to be getting to their usual selves
  • On the flip side, nothing, absolutely nothing, from lines two, three and four. This team is going NOWHERE without depth scoring. And there is next to none going on right now. Cassidy is going to continue to try and mix and match to find a solution, but there is a real chance it’s not the lines, it’s the personnel and that’s on Don Sweeney
  • Tough night for the Erik Haula, Craig Smith and DeBrusk line. Haula and Smith continue to not give much. There is signs of improvement in DeBrusk from last season, but still a ways to go
  • Connor McDavid was limited to one assist. Sure feels like you should win the game if that’s the case
  • Of course, he’s not the only one to worry about. Two goals and an assist for Draisaiitl, as he leads the league in goals with 12 and points with 26. The Oilers are extremely with the duo of him and McDavid and seem to finally have pieced together a suitable defense/goaltending solution to make this a top team
  • Really, really heartwarming ceremony before the game for Colby Cave. He played on both Edmonton and Boston before tragically passing away last year. Stick taps to his wife Emily, who is one of the strongest people out there

Next. Bergeron putting slow start behind him. dark

Next up for Boston is a date with the Devils on Saturday. You’d like to see a better effort defensively in response to the poor showing on Thursday.