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Talking Points: Ullmark Slams The Door On Oilers In 3-2 Bruins Win



Boston Bruins

Linus Ullmark made 41 saves and defenseman Matt Grzelcyk scored his first goal of the season with 2:33 left in regulation to give the Boston Bruins a 3-2 win over the Oilers Thursday in Edmonton.

After Brad Marchand scored a shorthanded goal 16:15 into the first period and Jake Debrusk padded the lead to 2-0 with a powerplay tally 2:02 into the middle frame, the Oilers stormed back to tie the game on two powerplay goals by Leon Draisaitl 18:14 into the second period and 9:50 into the third. Ullmark held the fort though and the Bruins held on to snap a two-game losing streak and go 1-0-1 on their three-game road trip that concludes Saturday in Calgary against the Flames.

GOLD STAR: Linus Ullmark – This was easily Ullmark’s best game with the Boston Bruins. So far, it’s been basically a stop-and-go mode with Ullmark this season. While his game has been self-admittedly inconsistent, Ullmark was coming off a lower-body injury that ended his last season with the Buffalo Sabres early and has also dealt with a recent injury that kept him out of the Bruins lineup since November 30 when he let in two goals on 16 shots in a 2-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Well, the most expensive signing (4 yrs, $20 million), Bruins GM Don Sweeney made this past season, earned every cent on Thursday against arguably the most dangerous offense in the NHL. The Bruins were outshot in every period but after Draisaitl’s powerplay goal 9:50 into the third period, Ullmark was an absolute wall down the stretch. The Bruins clearly fed off it and rewarded him with Grzelcyk’s game-winner at 17:27 of the final frame. His double-pad stack on Oilers forward Warren Foegele was a thing of beauty.



BLACK EYE: NHL Officiating – Honestly, I try not to be that guy complaining about or blaming the referees, but is it me or is it just unavoidable this season. Furthermore, it’s not just unavoidable to blame the calls on the ice but also, the NHL and the Department of Player Safety. There clearly is a disconnect on so many things between them and the players. So it begs one to ask, how was Nick Foligno the only one to go to the sin-bin on this play in the first period. It’s quite obvious that Oilers forward Zach Hyman ignored the unofficial stop sign on the numbers here and decided to follow through on this hit full force. So why is only Foligno penalized for sticking up for himself? Honestly, I know people at the DPS but I gotta do my job here and it’s become an absolute joke on what’s called and what’s not.


TURNING POINT: Grzelcyk GWG – While it’s too easy to say a game-winning goal was a turning point in a game, that was the case in this game. Grzelcyk’s goal came amidst a momentum shift in the game that saw the Bruins under siege after the Oilers tied the game just before the midway point of the third period. His first lamplighter of the season couldn’t have come at a better time for a team that needed this win to stay on the track.



HONORABLE MENTION: Jake DeBrusk – So I may be showing my age here since Slapshot is actually a really old movie now and maybe not everyone who loves hockey has seen it but for those that did, Is Jake DeBrusk, not Denis Lemieux tonight and saying:

Trade me right bleeping now!

This was easily DeBrusk’s best game not only of the season but since he requested a trade just under two weeks ago. Ironically, DeBrusk, who reportedly grew tired of Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy riding him for more effort and tenacity, displayed exactly that and more in a determined effort that led to his second goal in his last four games.



BY THE NUMBERS: 32 – 32 career shorthanded goals for Marchand. That’s the most by any player since Marchand entered the league in 2009 and a franchise record for the Bruins.



QUOTE TO NOTE: “He was awesome tonight; he was very special. He made some huge saves when we needed it and he was very reliable. We don’t always want to rely on our goaltenders but he showed up tonight and we needed it.” – Boston Bruins forward Charlie Coyle on Ullmark’s performance.



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