GOLD STAR: Leon Draisaitl had five giveaways and got smoked by Noel Acciari on a heavy hit in the third period, but he also came up with the play to win the game for an Oilers group that needed something to build on. Draisaitl bombed down the left wing, put the Bruins defense on their heels and then fed Ryan Strome for the scoring wrist shot from the slot midway through the third period. Draisaitl then picked up a goal on the empty netter to ice things in the final minute of the third period, but it was a nice little finish to the game after the big Edmonton center had a pretty slow start to the game. It just goes to show you how much talent the Oilers have on that roster that’s completely underachieved to this point in the season.
BLACK EYE: A very difficult, uneven game for Torey Krug that ended with more bad plays than good for the Bruins puck-moving defenseman. It was Krug’s weak clear attempt off the boards that ended up setting things up for Edmonton on their first goal, and then it was Krug as part of a very poor five man unit trying to defend on the game-winning goal for the Oil. The Bruins D-man tried to make up for it by blocking a shot in the closing minute that was destined for the empty net, but appropriate for the whole game the puck went right back to Draisaitl for the empty net goal to ice the game. In all Krug finished with a minus-2 along with two assists, and was involved in his 19:36 of ice time in nearly everything that happened both good and bad in defeat.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins essentially lost the game in the second period when they came into the frame protecting a 1-0 lead, and left in a tied hockey game after getting outshot by a 17-5 margin in the middle 20 minutes. The Bruins were outhustled, outmuscled and outworked by the Oilers at the end of a long East Coast road trip, and generally looked like a team that didn’t want to empty the bucket for the two points. Edmonton finished behind Boston in the registered hit battle (31-to-27) and in the blocked shots category (11-to-5), a couple of clear examples where they weren’t working as hard as the Oilers in this one.
HONORABLE MENTION: Call Patrick Maroon a certified Bruins killer because he once again did some major damage against the Black and Gold. Maroon scored his sixth goal against the Bruins in the last three seasons when he opened Edmonton’s scoring with a quick strike on the Boston net after a cross-ice pass from Zack Kassian. Predictably Maroon scored by shooting high on Tuukka Rask to the short side when he didn’t have time to shut off the post, and it was one of four shots on net for the Edmonton power forward. Maroon also stepped up to Zdeno Chara briefly after the B’s captain mugged Connor McDavid in the corner during a testy second period exchange.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the number of points Tuukka Rask has accumulated in 13 appearances this season, which is only a 1/3 of the 24 points for the Bruins this season. Rask’s won-loss record dropped to a brutal 3-8-2-with the defeat to the Oilers.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “We were fortunate there to make a good play [on the PP goal], but that couldn’t kick-start us, in terms of energy, to extend the lead. It’s disappointing. You’re at home. We’ve played well of late. We started well Friday, just didn’t have it tonight.” –Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy, disappointed at the lack of energy in Boston’s game on Sunday vs. Edmonton.