The Oilers....played really good tonight.
The Edmonton Oilers dropped a 2-1 OT decision to the Boston Bruins on Wednesday night. The game was a defensive battle as a depleted Oilers lineup tried to suffocate the league-leading Bruins. Patrice Bergeron got the visitors on the board in the first period while Sam Gagner knotted things up in the third. The comeback would fall short in overtime as David Pastrnak got the game-winner.
It was a great game of hockey with a disappointing result. I got the details for you right here.
The arena was buzzing as a large contingent of Bruins fans were in the building to watch the original six team play. Not only that, the Oilers were playing the league’s best team with a very depleted line-up. Without Connor McDavid and Oscar Klefbom at their disposal this was going to be game where each player on the Oilers would have to dig in.
The pace of the play suggested that the Oilers knew how important this game was. They played hard and, for the most part, matched Boston’s intensity in the early goings. Sam Gagner had the game’s first real chance as he rang a backhander off the crossbar. It looked like Edmonton came to play.
Despite this, the Bruins would find a way to get on the board first. The dreaded “Perfection Line” connected as Brad Marchand found a wide open Patrice Bergeron in the middle of the ice who deked out Mike Smith to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
Things almost became worse for the Oilers soon after, as Ethan Bear hooked up Marchand, giving the league’s second best power-play a chance to extend their lead. Luckily, Edmonton’s PK was able to come out of it without any damage.
The Oilers then got a turn on the power-play as Joakim Nordstrom tripped up Gaeten Haas. It wouldn’t go well as they failed to get set-up in the offensive end and Yamamoto negated it by taking a four minute high-sticking penalty less than a minute into the power-play.
The Bruins would get some great looks on the extended PP but Smith would be able to keep them at bay. The Oilers went 2/2 on the PK in the 1st period but were down 1-0.
After only putting two shots on net in the first period it seemed like the Oilers mandate for the second was to test Tuukka Rask a bit more. That they did as they came out with some energy and doubled their shot total from 2 to 4 in the first minute.
Penalties would be the story of this frame, however, as each team took turns on the power play. The Oilers would very nearly get the equalizer on a power-play chance after some fantastic puck movement lead to some chances in close. Boston would push as well but Mike Smith turned in a fantastic period and denied the Bruins of any insurance.
The Oilers would put up 18 shots and kill off 2 more penalties but would remain off the board. 1-0 Bruins heading into the the final frame.
The Bruins came out firing at the start of this one, but Mike Smith was once again standing on his head which would come up big in this period. After putting pressure on Edmonton to start the period Karson Kuhlman got caught with a trip on Caleb Jones, sending Edmonton to the power-play.
On the power-play Ethan Bear would let loose a wrist shot from the point that would get tipped by Sam Gagner and past Tuukka Rask. Against all odds we have ourselves a tie game. 1-1.
The teams would continue trading power-plays for the rest of the game, with Edmonton even getting a chance with less than two minutes left in regulation, but nobody else would be able to find the back of the net in this one.
At the end of regulation we were deadlocked at 1-1 and we needed overtime.
The Bruins won the opening face-off of the overtime period and had the majority of the pressure early on. Some good defensive work by Yamamoto and Bear would turn the puck over and send Yamo and Draisaitl on a 2-on-1 break. Unfortunately the puck would bobble on Yamamoto’s stick and neither a shot or pass would materialize.
Darnell Nurse had a chance on a pinch but would turn the puck over and allow Torey Krug to send Patrnak on a clear cut breakaway. Mike Smith would try to poke-check but Pasta would find the five-hole and slide in the game-winner.
Tough way to lose, but the Oilers pick up a point in a 2-1 Bruins victory.
- Mike Smith was phenomenal tonight and was a huge reason why the Oilers were able to get a point. He has come up huge recently and I gotta give props to how he’s handled the workload the past month and a half. Huge game by Smitty.
- The Oilers lost the game but won the special teams battle. They were able to shut-out Boston’s VERY GOOD power-play 7(!!) times tonight and got a power-play goal of their own.
- Ethan Bear had a very strong game tonight by my eye. He handled a difficult assignment in containing Pastrnak fairly well and made the most of his power-play time by assisting on Gagner’s game-tying goal. Such a smart hockey player.
- Darnell Nurse should not be on the power-play. I thought he had a fine game at 5x5 but his play with the man-advantage left A LOT to be desired. Give the reigns to Bear and see how he handles it.
- How about the difference in shots from the first period to the second. Oilers only had 2 shots in the first 20 and then rattled off 18 in the second. Pretty impressive in-game turnaround.
- Overall, it was a very good game for the Edmonton Oilers. They held their own against an insanely good Bruins team and got a point out of it. Everyone had this as a scheduled loss and they came very close to picking up the win. This team is legit.
- Speaking of that one-point, it rises their total to 71 on the season which is good enough to put them back in first place all alone! It’s still tight as the Golden Knights sit in second place with 70pts and the Canucks in third place with 69. The Oil will try to buy some breathing room this Friday as they host a slumping Minnesota Wild team!