Not a hell of a lot happened...up until the end.
Boston definitely controlled stretches where they could take potshots on Cam Talbot, but nothing came of any of them, even if a couple of players rang iron and certainly gave the Oilers a scare.
Unfortunately, comebacks don’t come as part of the deal without something to come back from, and this weird dump-in created a primo opportunity for Ryan Strome to snipe a puck right past Khudobin. 1-0 Oilers.
Any other bounce and this puck isn’t going the other way, but alas...
From that point on, a worrying trend occured.
Look, it’s not like Boston was completely out of it. But they sure as hell made it hard on themselves.
They got their chances, they definitely got their chances, but the Oilers responded with harsh checking and shot blocking and basically pulled Boston into second guessing themselves and desperation, and that creates opportunities. One such opportunity was taken by Jhujar Kaira and put the Oilers up 2-0 on a bad pinch.
Bad pinch, bad response, and Kaira had all the time in the world to pick that shot. A lucky bounce got it in, but that was still a very earned goal for Edmonton.
From then on, Boston tried damn near everything in their power to create a scoring opportunity and the B’s just...couldn’t convert. Edmonton had them found out.
Or...so they thought.
Third period, where all the magic happened.
This. Period. RULED.
First off, after a solid shift by the 4th line, Noel Acciari banks a shot off of an Oiler skater and in to put the Bruins on the board. 2-1 Oilers.
If ever there’s a time to score...that’s definitely it.
Bruins keep pounding away, the energy in the building sharply turning towards Boston, and Riley Nash found open space for Matt Grzelcyk to put home a wide open shot to tie the game at 2 a piece!
And that’s where Boston really turned it up, looking like the Bruins we know and love, controlling play, continuing to have possession, letting players come to them, and creating chances through that.
And who should be the benefactor of that than David Backes, Danton Heinen and...oh yeah.
David Krejci. Who scored and put the Bruins on top with just over a minute left in the game.
Holy crap. What a shift.
A terrifying-turned-hilarious power play opportunity for Edmonton later...
...and Boston somehow came out with the 2 points.
- Your leaders in possession were Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Brandon Carlo (I know!), and Riley Nash.
- The response after 40 minutes of getting run around and badgered was nothing short of miraculous after Noel Acciari’s goal. It was like a switch was flipped and suddenly everything you’ve ever heard about the Oilers came true.
- For the record, THIS is what “play our game” means in Boston. At least the last 20 minutes of it anyway. Let them try to knock you off the puck, fail, keep the puck, keep them guessing, pull people out of position and scramble...and then score. It was a masterful response by the team.
- Anton Khudobin’s save on McDavid might’ve been the difference maker in this one, even though he wasn’t tested much, he sure was tested when it counted and he made sure he stuck with all of it.
- Torey Krug had an up and down night, what with giving Kaira an easy access to Khudobin, but he still did positive Torey Krug things, like get a good pass to set Acciari up to get this comeback rolling. He now has 9 points in his last 10 games.
- Huge ups to Bruce Cassidy for how he managed Connor McDavid, mostly by making good and goddamn sure Zdeno Chara was on the ice with him, limiting one of the best players on the planet to a measely 34% in CF%. Connor McDavid!
- Riley Nash’s no-look pass was a confident decision that ended up being a very bright spot for an otherwise struggling game in Matt Grzelcyk. He really gave himself a bit of redemption.
Boston will play their final game against the Leafs on Saturday. Game starts at 7pm EST.
GO BRUINS! GET FIRST PLACE!