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After a huge 3-1 victory in Vancouver Saturday night over the league-leading Canucks, I wasn’t going to be surprised if the Bruins laid an egg on Sunday night against the lowly Edmonton Oilers. But instead, after falling behind early in the game, Tuukka Rask and the Bruins’ defense rose to the occasion, coming back to top the Oilers, 3-2, to earn Boston their fifth straight win.
It took only 65 seconds for the Oilers to get on the board, with Ales Hemsky knocking home the rebound from a Jim Vandermeer shot to give Edmonton the early 1-0 advantage. Before the first period was over, however, Michael Ryder roofed the puck past Edmonton goalie Devan Dubnyk to notch his 17th goal of the season, and even the game at one goal a piece. Nathan Horton added his 17th goal of the year as well, scoring on a feed from linemate David Krejci, and the B’s headed into the first intermission with a slim 2-1 lead.
Boston added to their lead, scoring the only goal in the second period, when Rich Peverley lit the lamp on a nifty shifty play, scoring his first goal as a Bruin, and giving the B’s a 3-1 cushion. The goal was assisted by newly acquired Chris Kelly, who earned his first point as a Bruin on the play as well.
The Oilers made it a game again early in the third, when Gilbert Brule beat Rask with an odd-angle slapper to inch the Oilers one goal closer. But that was all she wrote on this one, with the goal scoring giving way to fist throwing for the rest of the contest. Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic got their hands dirty with spirited bouts later in the third period, but with no more offense from the Oilers, the B’s escaped Rexall Place with the win, 3-2, for their fifth straight victory.
Tuukka Rask only faced 17 shots on the night, which is a new season low for Boston opponents. The B’s will wrap up this six-game roadie Tuesday night when they head back east to take on the Eastern Conference’s cellar dwellers, the Ottawa Senators.