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Recap: Bruins’ defensive breakdowns lead to 5-3 loss against Oilers

The Oilers scored three unanswered goals in the third period to put the game away.

NHL: NOV 11 Oilers at Bruins Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Boston Bruins dropped tonight’s game against the Edmonton Oilers, 5-3, on three unanswered goals from defensive breakdowns in the final frame.

The loss was the Bruins’ first at home this season.

Despite their focus to limit Edmonton’s big guns, defensive miscues and breakdowns in the third period ultimately determined the outcome of the game.

“We absolutely beat ourselves, 100 percent,” Bruce Cassidy said.

“Another good team found a way to beat us in crunch time,” Cassidy added. “It’s not by accident anymore. We have to do a better job.”

The Bruins knew coming into the game that they would have to limit the potential damage that Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl could cause.

Through the first 40 minutes of play, the team did just that by taking away their shooting lanes and getting sticks in the way.

The Bruins also limited their time in the box, taking only two penalties during the game. On the Oilers’ two power plays, the PK units took away scoring opportunities in high danger spots. They also broke up feeds that McDavid was trying to get over to Draisaitl.

In the first period, those two players were limited to one shot each. In fact, Draisaitl was limited to only that chance until his two goals in the third period.

For a team that’s third period is usually their strongest, the Bruins’ faltered in their defensive zone coverage in the last 20 minutes where the game was lost. Defense made sloppy clearing attempts and turned the play over in shooting lanes, handing the Oilers gift goals.

In the offensive zone, the top six forwards overpassed in the slot and lost a shooting mentality.

But if there was one bright spot, that would be the efforts of Tomas Nosek’s line throughout the night. The fourth line stood up to the task of limiting the impact of the Oilers’ top line. They were particularly strong in the defensive zone with winning face-offs and moving the play up ice.

On to New Jersey...

Here’s a look at the goals period-by-period.

First period:

The Bruins opened the scoring at 4:45 of the first period.

Patrice Bergeron capitalized on a turnover in the neutral zone to send a forward pass to David Pastrnak. Skating down the right side, Pastrnak put a wrister over the glove of Mikko Koskinen. 1-0 Bruins.

The Oilers tied the game at 5:29 of the first period.

Draistaitl found Evan Bouchard skating to the open slot where he put a wrist shot just under the crossbar and over Linus Ullmark’s glove. 1-1 game.

Second period:

The Bruins took the lead at 5:06 of the second period.

Pastrnak’s shot hit Cody Ceci’s stick in the slot where Brad Marchand picked up the loose puck and backhanded it past Koskinen’s stick. 2-1 Bruins.

The Oilers evened the game at 5:30 of the second period.

McDavid left a pass along the outside right hash marks for Zach Hyman who carried the puck towards the net. Switching from his forehand to backhand, Hyman headed into the slot to put the puck past Ullmark’s blocker. 2-2 game.

The Bruins regained the lead at 17:14 of the second period.

Off a face-off win, Matt Grzelcyk slid a pass over to Brandon Carlo at the right point where he fired a slap shot at Koskinen that hit his glove on its way in. 3-2 Bruins.

Third period:

The Oilers tied the game at 6:22 of the third period.

Brandon Carlo mishandled the puck which led to a turnover in the slot where Draisaitl put his shot top-shelf over Ullmark. 3-3 game.

The Oilers took the lead at 9:26 of the third period on Draisaitl’s second goal of the night.

Ceci found Draisaitl in the slot for a one-timer past Ullmark’s blocker. 4-3 Oilers.

The Oilers cushioned their lead at 17:41 of the third period.

As Connor Clifton failed to clear the zone, Ullmark made the initial save on the play, but the loose puck bounced out to Ceci at the high slot. With Ullmark out of position, Ceci put the shot high past him. Final score: 5-3 Oilers.

The Bruins hit the road for a 1 pm match against the New Jersey Devils in the first of back-to-back weekend games on Saturday November 13. The Montreal Canadiens come to the TD Garden on Sunday November 14.