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The Edmonton Oilers survived the Boston Bruins’ first two-goal period Thursday night at the TD Garden.
They couldn’t survive the second.
Or the third.
The Bruins scored twice in all three periods Thursday, powering them to a 6-3 victory over the once-streaking Oilers.
The Bruins have now scored 24 goals in their last four games.
The Bruins started Thursday’s game with a furious, unceasing attack against Oilers goalie Devan Dubnyk. Though Dubnyk made some impressive saves early on, he could not survive the offensive barrage forever.
Seven minutes in, Nathan Horton passed to David Krejci near the Edmonton goal line. Krejci successfully held off two Oilers long enough to break through and find Johnny Boychuk at the blue line. Boychuk ripped a slapshot right over Dybnyk’s glove to put the Bruins up 1-0 at 7:11.
The Bruins went up 2-0 less than two minutes later. Zach Hamill brought the puck into the offensive zone, eventually ripping a perfect centering pass to Jordan Caron. Caron couldn’t get much on his shot because of the defense, but he nudged the puck just enough to put it past Dubnyk at 8:55.
Edmonton coach Tom Renney called timeout to gather his team, and the Oilers who took the ice after played like an entirely different team. Left winger Ryan Smyth put the Oilers on the board with a tip-in from Theo Peckham, then less than 30 seconds later Ryan Nugent-Hopkins stole the puck in the neutral zone and fed it to the speedy Taylor Hall.
Hall broke for the goal, but instead of shooting, Hall fed the puck backwards to the trailing Nugent-Hopkins, who put a 29-foot wristshot passed the out-of-position Tuukka Rask to tie the game.
The speed and ease with which the Oilers overcame a two-goal deficit deflated both the Bruins and the crowd. They could not match the intensity with which they played the first nine minutes. Despite their early shooting flurry, Boston finished the period with just one more shot than Edmonton (13-12).
A year older and smarter, Tyler Seguin is quickly learning how to maximize the value of his fantastic speed. That speed earned the Bruins a power play early in the second, when defenceman Jeff Petry had to hook Seguin to slow him down on a breakaway. With 19 seconds left in that power play, the Bruins retook the lead for good.
Soon after, Corvo repaid Seguin for the pass, taking control of the puck in the Bruins’ zone and passing it to Seguin. After that, it was all about Seguin’s speed.
Seguin took the puck from the neutral zone to the top of the left circle and rocketed a wristshot at Dubnyk. Dubnyk sprawled to his right to save the puck, but all he could do was knock it away. The puck slid into Edmonton defenceman Corey Potter‘s skate, bouncing up and back into the goal to put the Bruins up 4-2 at 6:24.
The Bruins out-shot the Oilers 9-5 in the second period, holding them scoreless despite a power play in which Gregory Campbell lost his stick, essentially giving the Oilers a 5-on-3 for most of the penalty.
Andrew Ference left midway through the second with an undisclosed injury and did not return.
The Bruins spent over 30 percent of the third period shorthanded, so the Oilers had far more scoring chances. They made it 4-3 Bruins on a power play with just under five minutes left in the game.
The Bruins had held off the Oilers for over 1:30, but the Oilers kept the puck near Rask the entire time, preventing a line change and exhausting the players. Finally, Smyth scored his second goal on a tip-in from center Eric Belanger at 15:18.
The Bruins responded by putting two more in the net. After Seguin earned another power play, Milan Lucic scored on a tip-in from the crease off a terrific centering pass from Corvo, who had received the puck from Horton.
Marchand made it 6-3 with a shot just under the crossbar off a three-on-two with just over two minutes left.
The Bruins are now scoring in bunches. It’s only matter of time before their offense pulls them back into the upper ranks of Eastern Conference teams.
Tags: Andrew Ference, Boston Bruins, Brad Marchand, corey potter, David Krejci, devan dubnyk, Edmonton Oilers, eric belanger, Gregory Campbell, jeff petry, Joe Corvo, Johnny Boychuk, Jordan Caron, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton, NHL, ryan nugent-hopkins, ryan smith, Taylor Hall, theo peckham, Tuukka Rask, Tyler Segun, Zach Hamill