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Bruins Self Implode And Lose Third Straight, 4-1 To The Oilers

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Leon Draisaitl had a goal and an assist and Connor McDavid scored his 23rd goal of the season as the Edmonton Oilers handed the Boston Bruins their third straight loss. The loss was also the third straight game in which the Bruins led by a goal or more and allowed consecutive goals by the opponent to lose. The Bruins are now 4-5-6 since the last win of their eight-game win streak back on December 3. 

Oilers goalie Mike Smith was a wall between the pipes, especially in the third period when he turned away all 21 shots the Bruins unloaded on him as they tried to climb back in the game. At the other end, Jaro Halak let in a bad goal to Oilers defenseman Darnell Nurse with just 6.3 seconds left in the second period that proved to be the game-winner for the Oilers and finished with 23 saves.

The lone bright spot for the Bruins was David Pastrnak who scored a powerplay goal for the second straight game and extended his league-leading point streak to ten games. Pastrnak has three goals and eight assists during that span and now has a league-leading 14 powerplay goals to go with his league-leading 31 lamplighters.  

The Bruins got on the board first thanks to a powerplay goal for a third straight game and for the second straight game, Pastrnak was the one to light the lamp on the man advantage. Just as he did Thursday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Pastrnak took a feed just inside the blue line and blasted it home far side for a 1-0 Bruins lead. Brad Marchand got the secondary helper.

Halak was huge in the first period, stopping McDavid twice on point-blank chances. The first came at 7:43 when the speedy McDavid broke ahead of the pack and ripped one on Halak from the top of the faceoff circle. Then with 1:49 left in the opening frame, McDavid and Draisaitl broke in on a 2-on-1 and Halak slid across to stack the pads and make a brilliant save, keeping the Bruins up 1-0 headed to the second period. 

 

The Bruins had a bad case of Jekyll and Hyde in the second period as Hyde reared his evil head in a big way during the middle frame. Despite killing off two Oilers’ powerplays, the Bruins did themselves in with horrid neutral zone play, a very costly turnover and a weak goal that Halak most surely wants back. Just under eight minutes into the period, Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk was the lone man back chasing down a puck in the Bruins zone. DeBrusk retrieved the puck and then made a sloppy play cross-ice to clear the zone. A streaking Gaetan Hass intercepted the pass and then deked out Halak at 7:41 to tie the game at one. The goal was Haas’ fourth of the season.

The game a track meet after that and most of the Oilers’ ten shots in the period came compliments of poor neutral zone coverage and turnovers by the Bruins. One of those turnovers led to the Oilers second goal but also on a shot that should’ve never found the back of the net. With time winding down in the period, Nurse shot from an awkward angle along the boards and the puck went in short-side on Halak for a 2-1 Oilers’ lead with 6.3 ticks left in the period. Draisaitl had the lone helper on the goal.

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The Bruins came out in the third looking just as discombobulated as in the second period and 1:48 into the final frame McDavid finally got on the scoreboard. The Oilers broke the zone 3-on-2 and Zack Kassian turned Bruins defenseman Steven Kampfer inside out with a spin-a-rama, then a beautiful backhand pass to McDavid streaking down the slot. McDavid took the layup and beat Halak for a 3-1 Oilers lead. Ethan Bear had the secondary assist.

Just over two minutes later the Bruins got a chance to cut the lead back to one when Bear went to the sin-bin for high-sticking at 4:02 but failed to convert. After the Bruins poured the shots on Smith but failed to score, they pulled Halak with 2:51 left and Draisaitl scored an empty-netter with nine seconds left in the game.

With 20 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 17 of his 20 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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