Here are my biggest takeaways from the Bruins' 3-2 overtime loss in Edmonton on Thursday night:
GOLD STAR: Connor McDavid was held down early in this game, but made the play when it counted in overtime. McDavid picked off a Brad Marchand stretch pass from deep in the Bruins zone during the 3-on-3 overtime, and then moved into the B’s zone with speed before dishing over to Leon Draisaitl for the game-winner in overtime.
In all, McDavid finished with two assists along with eight shot attempts in 24:58 of ice time, one hit, three takeaways and a blocked shot in the home opening win for the Oilers. McDavid certainly didn’t explode on the Bruins with a massive statistical night, but it’s easy to see why putting McDavid and Draisaitl out together for the 3-on-3 overtime session eventually turns into a lot of wins for the Oilers. It took less than a minute for that duo to do their damage in OT on Thursday night.
BLACK EYE: David Backes finished with zero shots on net in 6:28 of ice time after taking a high hit from Matt Benning in the first period that sent him back to the dressing room. Backes returned to the bench for the second period, but clearly wasn’t actually on the ice much for the Bruins following the first period. It looked like there might have been contact to the head/chin area for Backes, and that’s not good for a player that’s missed time over the last few seasons with concussions. Beyond the production for Thursday night’s game, Backes still has zero goals and zero points through seven games this season and continues to look like a player that’s really not going to be able to give the Bruins what they need out of him. For now, though, it’s about Backes’ health and the hope that he comes out of the collision with Benning unscathed.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins fell down 2-1 in the third period on a Ryan Nugent-Hopkins power play goal in the third period, and it could have been one of those moments where they started to let things fall apart in the second night of back-to-back games. Instead, the B’s scratched and clawed their way to tie the game on another David Pastrnak goal midway through the third period to push things into overtime eventually. That allowed the Bruins to at least capture a point for their trouble, and salvage something amid a road trip that’s already proven to be pretty difficult for the Black and Gold. Things fell apart quickly for them in the overtime session, but by that point the one point was already in the bank for the Bruins.
HONORABLE MENTION: It was a pretty good night for David Krejci as he continues to show that he’s finding his game a few weeks into the season, and starting to give the Bruins the secondary scoring they absolutely need. Krejci scored going to the net on a sweet lead pass from Matt Grzelcyk, and has started connecting on a few more offensive plays for a team that’s going to need it from them. He finished with over 20 minutes of ice time, had the goal along with a plus-1 rating, five shot attempts and 7-of-12 face-off wins in a very good all-around effort. Perhaps the Bruins will stick with Danton Heinen and Jake DeBrusk with Krejci now on the second line, after seeing some good offensive results, and more importantly seeing some life out of the playmaking Krejci’s game.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 – the game-high number of registered hits for Chris Wagner, as he continues to set a tone physically for the Bruins when he’s out on the ice.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “A good rebound game. We definitely played better hockey. It wasn’t a very good second period, but the first and the third periods were good. We battled our way back in and got a point, so definitely a better game than [against Calgary].” –Brad Marchand to reporters, on the B’s playing better in an OT loss to Edmonton than they did the previous night against Calgary.
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