Bruins

BSJ Game Report: Oilers 4, Bruins 1 – Sloppy play, 5v5 woes sink B’s again

(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Everything you need to know from the Bruins’ 4-1 loss to the Oilers in quickie form, with BSJ insight and analysis:

Box Score

HEADLINES

Bruins let another two points slip away: Boston’s third straight loss - a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Oilers on Saturday afternoon - was headlined by a number of unforced errors.

Holding on to a 1-0 lead going into the second period, the Bruins found themselves back at square one after a lazy pass from Jake DeBrusk was picked off by Gaetan Haas in the slot, who subsequently buried it past Jaroslav Halak at 7:41 in the middle frame.

The contest didn’t remain even going into the second intermission, however, as Darnell Nurse beat Halak on a tally that he’ll want to have back with just six seconds to go in the period. 

Yes, these miscues were a tough pill to swallow, especially against an Oilers team that had only won three of its last 12 games entering Saturday’s matinee. But the most concerning takeaway from today’s defeat was Boston’s struggles to generate much of anything away from the man advantage — with the B’s limited to just four 5v5 scoring chances through the first two periods of play.

Bruce Cassidy tried to get Boston’s 5v5 offense rolling in the third period, swapping Charlie Coyle and David Pastrnak on the first and second lines, but it was too little, too late — as Connor McDavid buried his 23rd goal of the season just 1:48 into the final frame to put the game away.  

Special teams clicking again: Boston’s 5v5 offense is still stuck in neutral, but special teams hasn’t let Boston down all that much as of late. With David Pastrnak’s power-play tally just 3:10 into the contest, the Bruins have now scored at least one power-play goal in 10 consecutive games — a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since March 7-27, 1996. After going 0-for-2 against the Lightning back on Dec. 12, Boston has now cashed in on 12 of its last 39 bids on the power play (30.7%). 

Boston’s PK has also been downright dominant as of late — with the Bruins failing to relinquish a power-play goal for eight straight games now.  Boston has now killed off its last 23 penalties since allowing a power-play score on Dec. 17 against the Kings.

TWO UP:

David Pastrnak: Ho hum, another power-play goal for the B’s winger — who is now up to 31 goals and 61 points on the season. Pastrnak, who extended his point streak to 10 straight games, has now opened the scoring for the Bruins in 12 contests this season. The only Bruin with more opening tallies in a single season was Phil Esposito with 15 during the 1973-74 campaign. 

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1213527142627250176

Anders Bjork: The B’s winger was one of the few skaters that responded positively to Cassidy’s lineup shuffling — with the Bruins holding a 7-5 edge in shots on goal and generating a pair of high-danger scoring chances in Bjork’s 13:18 of 5v5 TOI. Wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if Bjork starts getting some additional looks in the top six. 

THREE DOWN

Jake DeBrusk: You commit a turnover like this — you’re going to end up in the doghouse. It’s been a rough week for DeBrusk, who was benched earlier this week against the Sabres. DeBrusk finished the game with 13:37 of ice time. 

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1213541841242656769

Jaroslav Halak: Halak might have denied McDavid on a 2-on-1 rush in the first period, but he’s going to want this goal from Nurse back. He finished with 22 saves on 25 Edmonton shots. 

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1213547832143167488

David Krejci: DeBrusk will catch a lot of flak from this game, but his pivot also left a lot to be desired in this one. In Krejci’s 14:40 of 5v5 ice time, the Bruins only generated one 5v5 scoring chance, while the Oilers generated eight scoring chances of their own. 

PLAY OF THE GAME: Well, at least this game was entertaining in the first period. 

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1213525878090739717

PARTING THOUGHT: Curious to see if Leon Draisaitl gets a call from the NHL’s Department of Player Safety after elbowing Torey Krug in the opening minutes of the contest: 

https://twitter.com/ConorRyan_93/status/1213528177823354881

LOOKING AHEAD: The Bruins will now head on the road for a quick trip down to Nashville on Tuesday. Puck drop for that matchup against the Predators is set for 8 p.m.