Bruins

Bruins

GOLD STAR: Leon Draisaitl was a stud in this one. He generated a bunch of scoring chances including a sweet 2-on-1 dish to Connor McDavid in the first period that the Oilers star center didn’t convert and finished with a goal and two points after finally landing the empty-net goal toward the end of the third period. 

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He also finished with a plus-2 rating in 22:54 of ice time along with five shot attempts, a hit and 17 of 25 face-off wins in a pretty strong all-around performance. Draisaitl also picked up the helper on the Darnell Nurse game-winner at the end of the second period that really took all of the air out of Boston’s sails. This was billed as four of the best forwards in the NHL getting together against each other and Draisaitl was the best of the bunch in this one.

BLACK EYE: Jaroslav Halak had some good moments like a sweeping stop on McDavid in the first period when he was at the finishing end of a 2-on-1 rush with Draisaitl and he kept the Oilers off the board for the entire opening 20 minutes while making nine saves. But Halak sprung a leak in the second period when he allowed a wobbling Nurse wrist shot to beat him from a bad angle.

It appeared Halak was fighting the puck for most of the afternoon. There weren’t many clean saves and plenty of rebound chances for the Oilers with Halak allowing three goals on 25 shots. Halak was no better or worse than the rest of the Bruins in this game, but he was at fault on the winning goal for Edmonton.

 

TURNING POINT: The Bruins were still in okay position down 2-1 headed into the third period, but it was clear they weren’t going to have the legs or the energy to pull this one out with the flu bug going through their dressing room. 

Instead, it was Zdeno Chara who allowed McDavid to get behind him in the third period and zoom in all alone for a play he easily finished to give the Oilers the dagger goal they were looking for. Chara missed practice on Friday with the illness going around and he played like he was dragging on Saturday with less than 18 minutes of ice time and that coverage breakdown at a key point in the game.

HONORABLE MENTION: At least David Pastrnak showed up for the Bruins with his 31st goal of the season in the first period. It was a quick strike, power-play goal at the top of the face-off circle off a feed from Torey Krug.

It was the only real offense from the Bruins as they have become very reliant on No. 88 to provide all the scoring for them. Pastrnak finished with the goal in 22:22 of ice time along with nine shot attempts, a hit and a takeaway and was one of the few B's who showed any kind of energy whatsoever in a sleepy Saturday afternoon matinee performance against the Oilers. So at least give him credit for that.

BY THE NUMBERS: 4-5-6 – Bruins' record the past month as they have definitely sunk into the .500 hockey mediocrity while allowing the Maple Leafs and Lightning to begin gaining ground on them.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “Right now we’re going through a stretch where the goals aren’t coming easily, and every goal becomes really important. I think that’s in our heads a little bit.” –Bruce Cassidy, on the lack of extra offense for the Bruins that’s making it seem as if every game is a one-goal grind for the B’s.