The Boston Bruins and Edmonton Oilers only meet twice a year, but both meetings tend to be great hockey games. Their first meeting of this season did not disappoint. The game had goals, lead changes, a hat-trick and big saves. With their playoff positions on the line, both clubs put on a great show.
Connor McDavid had never played in the TD Garden before, so he made sure to introduce himself to the crowd early. McDavid came streaking down the right wing, dangled through Zdeno Chara and dished a pass off to Patrick Maroon for a goal. Just 1:08 in, the Bruins were down by one.
Not long after registering the opening goal, Maroon found himself in trouble with Chara as the two dropped the gloves. It appeared the captain was unhappy with the way his team had started the game and wanted to get energy flowing. After the fight, the Bruins’ attitude changed.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 6, 2017
The B’s started to control every aspect of the game for a long stretch of time. During their dominance, Colin Miller was able to get the home team on the board. Miller rifled a pass from Czarnik towards Cam Talbot — Talbot made the original save, but the puck found the back of the net to tie the game.
Boston’s goal seemed to wake up Edmonton because the action was back and forth afterwards. With both teams now fully engaged, there were scoring chances and hits for each club. The end of the period saw the game tied at one and the Bruins ahead on the shot board 13 to 8.
The opening minutes of the second period got off to a slow start. After a good penalty kill by the Bruins, momentum started to shift. This momentum swing resulted in the arena erupting after a goal by Patrice Bergeron — he was left wide open in the slot on a rush and David Pastrnak found him for the go-ahead goal.
The buzzing B’s were able to control the next few shifts and had the Oilers on their heels. That is when head coach Todd McLellan sent out his top line to put an end to home teams energy. Adam McQuaid and Maroon were tangled up in a battle in front of the net when Maroon got free and slammed home a loose puck. Maroon’s second goal on the evening tied the game at two and cooled the Bruins’ momentum.
Around the halfway point of the period, both clubs started to get physical after the whistle. There were a handful of scrums, especially in front of the nets. The Bruins controlled the shot board once again with an advantage of 28 to 17 though two periods.
— Weekend at Bergy's (@weekendatbergys) January 6, 2017
When two teams come out for the third period in a tie game, it is expected that both teams are going to put in a solid effort. For the first 15 minutes of this period, Edmonton came out trying to win, while the Bruins were no where to be found.
Just 14 seconds in, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins potted the go-ahead goal for the Oilers on a rebound after a shot from Matt Benning. The visiting team continued to dominate the period and producing more scoring chances.
Maroon was able to add to his career night by jamming home his third goal of the contest. His hat-trick gave the Oiler’s a two-goal edge with 11 minutes left. With everything rolling their way, the game appeared to be over.
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) January 6, 2017
The Bruins were able to find life due to a power play with five minutes remaining. In the first half of the man advantages numerous chances were created, but only one shot came close to going in the net. That is when the Oilers took another penalty to give Boston a five on three advantage.
With the opening of the power play being stale, David Pastrnak took control and looked for an opening. The puck eventually found David Krejci and then the net. Krejci’s power play goal cut the lead to one and the Bruins continued to press for the tying goal.
Unable to cash in on the remained of the power play, Boston pulled the goalie with 90 ticks left on the clock. Torey Krug had the best chance to get the game tied, but his shot rang off the post. When the clock wound down, the visiting Oilers were able to hang on for the 4-3 win.
EDM-Patrick Maroon (12) assisted by Connor McDavid (30) and Leon Draisaitl (20)
BOS-Colin Miller (3) assisted by Austin Czarnik (7) and Torey Krug (21)
BOS- Patrice Bergeron (8) assisted by David Pastrnak (8) and Kevan Miller (1)
EDM-Patrick Maroon (13) assisted by Eric Gryba (2) and Connor McDavid (31)
EDM-Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (8) assisted by Matt Benning (7)
EDM-Patrick Maroon (14)
BOS-David Krejci (9) assisted by Patrice Bergeron (6) and Brad Marchand (22)
THW THREE STARS
First: Patrick Maroon (three goals)
Second: Connor McDavid (two assists)
Third: Player Patrice Bergeron (one goal, one assist)
Boston Bruins at Florida Panthers
BB&T Center-7:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-NESN, FS-F, 98.5 The Sports Hub
2016-17 Season Series: Bruins Lead 3-0
Edmonton Oilers at New Jersey Devils
Prudential Center-7:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-SN, MSG+
2016-17 Season Series: First Meeting of 2016-17
Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.