Your Boston Bruins hosted the Edmonton Oilers tonight at the TD Garden for the only time this season. The Oilers came into this game leading the Pacific Division with a 9-2 overall record and boasting the co-leaders in points for this young season. Mikko Koskinen was in net for the Oil while Linus Ullmark manned the pipes for the B’s. Koskinen has been undefeated on the road this season, while Ullmark sported a perfect record at home. As Homeboy Jack said on the NESN feed “something’s gotta give”.
Up front the Bruins welcomed back Nick Foligno and Anton Blidh. Foligno slid onto the Charlie Coyle line opposite Taylor Hall while Blidh took Trent Frederic’s (day to day UBI) spot on the 4th line. Tomas Nosek and Curtis Lazar comprised the rest of the 4th line (I don’t understand why Karson Kuhlman was given the night off as he’s been great thus far). Craig Smith was on 3rd line duty with Jake DeBrusk on the opposite wing and Erik Haula at the pivot.
The Bruins opened the scoring when David Pastrnak beat Koskinen short side from the RW dot with a wrister under the glove and over the pad. Patrice Bergeron with a clean swipe at his own blue line sent Pasta away with a sauce pass right on his tape. Brad Marchand drove the net from the left side and maybe they caught Koskinen cheating towards the pass a little bit? Either way the Bruins were off and running.
For roughly 44 seconds. Yup, that’s how long it took the Oilers to tie it back up. A late change by Marchand left Evan Bouchard uncovered at the point and he took the open ice and walked down the slot to pick the corner over Ullmark’s glove. Tie game.
Some big saves by Ullmark kept the game knotted going into the first intermission. He absolutely robbed Kailer Yamamato on a shorthanded bid. I mean I’m sure it’s not an issue that the Bruins gave up a 2 on 1 rush while on the power play, right? Either way, sick save by the Ice Bear Dude.
Charlie Coyle showed how you never give up on a play with a diving back check that juuuuust knocked the puck away from Darnell Nurse who was looking at 24 square feet of open net. Those are the kind of plays that don’t show up on the score sheet but everyone on that roster acknowledges. Great 200ft game by Coyle as of late. You’ll see him come sliding into the right side of the video below with his stick outstretched.
Marchand put the Bruins back on the board when he converted a Bergeron rebound just 5 minutes into the 2nd period. Pasta from the RW dot found Bergy at the top of the crease where he was denied on the one timer. The rebound bounced right to Marchy who put it backhand 5-hole and the Bruins were now off and running?
For roughly 24 seconds. Yup, that’s how long it took the Oilers to tie it back up. Déjà vu? Zach Hyman walked Jake DeBrusk from the RW wall, (it was soft as puppy shit defense from DeBrusk tonight, a big step back for #73) pulled it to his backhand and was uncovered in the slot. Tie game.
Late in the period the Bruins took the lead again. Bergy won the faceoff back to Matt Grzelcyk at the left point and he wires it over to Brandon Carlo. Carlo took 3 strides and let it fly from the top of the RW circle and beat Koskinen off the glove. Pastrnak with the nice moving screen might have taken away Koskinen’s eyes at the last second. The Bruins took the lead into the room for the 2nd intermission.
Into the final frame, and this is where the wheels fell off. Carlo coughed up the puck in his own end and served a pizza to Leon Draisitl all alone in the slot. It looked on the replay like Carlo was going D to D then changed his mind but the puck slid off his blade. Either way, it was a brutal turnover and Draisitl doesn’t miss from there and we’re tied up again.
Three minutes later and Draisitl got his 2nd of the night when DeBrusk got walked on the wall; (remind me if you’ve heard that before?) this time by Cody Ceci. Grz had to slide over leaving Draisitl again alone in the slot. Carlo was a step slow in coming across and Draisitl got the tap in to give the Oil their first lead of the game.
Ceci wasn’t done however as he got his first as an Oiler off yet another Bruins turnover in their defensive zone. This time Connor Clifton put the puck off the skates of the Edmonton fore checker, which led to a scramble at the goalmouth. The puck bounced out to Ceci cruising the high slot and it was all over. The Bruins pulled Ullmark late trying to get back into this one, but the Oilers clogged the neutral zone and wound down the clock.
The Bruins are back at it on Saturday with a matinee in New Jersey before coming home to host the Canadiens on Sunday night.
- The Bruins hung with arguably one of the top teams in the league for about 45 mins.
- Ullmark, despite the final, played a very good game. He was efficient in his movements and played poised against basically a video game cheat code of an offense.
- The forward lines all played well. The Bruins had trouble in their own end, but I thought it the blame was on the defensive decision making.
- Tough night for the D. If you’ve ever heard Ked on our podcast. When in doubt, glass and out. Pretty simple stuff.
- Pastrnak is a one man turnover machine. I don’t know what’s going on with him, but it’s ugly
- Big step back tonight for Jake DeBrusk. I thought his effort was severely lacking.
- Brandon Carlo was rocking the “A”. If he’s superstitious he’ll probably decline next time they ask him. Tough game for the big guy.
- Brad Marchand moved into sole possession of 8th place in Bruins all time scoring with 731 points. He just passed David Krejci and is now 62 points behind Wayne Cashman.
- Nice tribute prior to the game for former Bruin and former Oiler Colby Cave. His widow, Emily was on hand to drop a ceremonial first puck. Emotional night for both squads.