The Edmonton Oilers were in Boston tonight to play their second game of the season after a long hiatus due, in part, to their trip to Sweden. The Bruins (2-1-0, 2nd Atlantic) looked to keep rolling after two straight wins following their embarrassment at the hands of the defending champions on opening night. The Oilers (0-1-0, 8th Pacific) hoped to rebound after a poor showing in Gothenburg against the Devils.
Tonight we live-tweeted the game as well, in one thread for your reading convenience. Click the tweet below to be redirected to the entire thread, it is more blow-by-blow than this will be:
The Oilers were quick to the gas in this one with it only taking until Connor McDavid’s second shift before the visitors were ahead 1-0. Ty Rattie found McDavid near the red line and the captain did the rest, blowing by his defender and burying past Jaroslav Halak.
That’s about it as far as positives in the first period. What followed was a pretty comfortable clinic by the home Bruins. First, David Pastrnak scored a worldie on Cam Talbot after walking Matt Benning on the power play. The Bruins continued to push at even strength after going in front, and before long they found themselves with another man advantage. This time, Drake Caggiula deflected Brad Marchand’s cross-box pass past Talbot for an unfortunate own goal. Had Caggiula not touched it, Pastrnak almost certainly would have teed off on one anyway, so there’s that.
The opening frame ended with the Oilers being outshot 15-11, and down 3-1.
The second period started like the first period finished - with the Bruins on the front foot through the first 90 seconds. Draisaitl got himself waived for an early faceoff in the offensive zone before the puck found Evan Bouchard at the point, who fired just wide.
You might be wondering why I’d mention something like that?! Surely the Oilers did enough good things offensively in what is probably as do-or-die-a-second-period-in game-2-as-there-has-ever-been that a missed shot from the point wouldn’t make the cut?!
Sorry to disappoint. The Oilers finished the period with 6 SOG total. And it’s not like they were grade-A chances. The best chance probably came in the last 30 seconds on a powerplay they again chose to trot out five left handed shooters to start, with Ryan Nugent-Hopkins finding Connor McDavid across the seam. Unfortunately, the captain had to take a touch, which likely closed his brief window of opportunity, and Jaroslav Halak was equal to the task. Tobias Rieder deflected a Leon Draisaitl pass toward Halak earlier, but beyond some brief discomfort, caused him little trouble.
The Bruins only outshot the Oilers by one in this period, but that’s all they needed to do. As far as the Bruins are concerned, they need to get out of the third period healthy. This game is probably over.
The middle stanza finished with the Oilers still trailing 3-1, and still being outshot 22-17.
The third period should be elementary at this point, with the Bruins comfortably ahead and at home, with control over the matchups. The Oilers have it all to do, and have yet to show they’re capable of doing it.
As the period evolves, it becomes pretty obvious they can’t. The Oilers are entirely overmatched in this one, and the Bruins continue to generate the bulk - and the better - of the chances in the final frame.
The Oilers do manage to go close once through Nugent-Hopkins, after Ty Rattie found him in the slot. The puck beat Halak, but couldn’t get across the goal line. It was inches.
Unfortunately, and again, that’s about it for high points in another uninspiring period. The Oilers actually managed to get outshot in this period too, despite being down 2 and in desperate need of something positive.
As the clock winds down to near the 5:00 mark, the Oilers finally start to establish themselves. Unfortunately, it was far too little, far too late, and the Oilers are off to a pretty typical 0-2-0 start to another season.
The third period finishes with the Oilers outshot 32-26, and losers by a final score of 4-1.
The good - Connor McDavid. He’s unbelievable and he will almost certainly win the scoring title again this season with less help than any of his direct competitors.
The bad - Not even one forward won the shot share battle tonight. Not one.
The ugly - This game was essentially a formality for 40 minutes. The Oilers were done after 20 and they simply don’t have the horses to be able to outscore 2-goal deficits with any sort of regularity.
Up next - the Oilers head to New York to take on the Rangers at MSG for a Saturday morning matinee. Puck drop shortly after 11AM MST.