November 10, 2011

Post-Game Breakdown: B’s climb back to .500 with win over Oilers

By Jesse Connolly

Final: Boston 6, Edmonton 3

Recap: The B’s jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals less than two minutes apart in the first period, as a blast from Johnny Boychuk and Jordan Caron’s first of the year gave Boston an early edge. But the Oilers responded with tallies from Ryan Smyth and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to quickly knot things up.

Strikes from Tyler Seguin and Brad Marchand in the second put the B’s ahead 4-2. In the third, Boston stopped attacking and the Oilers capitalized on a power-play when Smyth buried his second of the night. But the Bruins responded emphatically, as Milan Lucic buried an insurance marker and Marchand made it 6-3 with his second of the game. That, my friends, was all she wrote.

Records: Boston 7-7-0, 14 points; Edmonton 9-4-2, 20 points

Key Play of the Game: The B’s seemed to be on the ropes after Edmonton cut the lead down to one with 4:42 to play, but a swift response put the nail in the coffin. Lucic buried a power-play goal on a feed from Joe Corvo, putting Edmonton down 5-3 and all but sealing the win.

Connolly’s Commendations: Marchand finally put an end to his lengthy goal drought with two strikes tonight. The scrappy winger had gone nine games without tallying, but thanks to a strong presence in front of the net this evening, No. 63 was rewarded.

Kudos to Joe Corvo, who busted out with three assists tonight — none of which were of the cheap variety. From Marchand’s tip-in to Lucic’s late tally, No. 14 played a big role in half of Boston’s goals tonight.

And how about the B’s once abysmal power play? They finished 2-for-5 on the man advantage and continue to climb up the league rankings.

Connolly’s Critiques: Conversely, it wasn’t a good night at the office for Boston’s penalty kill. The Oilers might’ve just been 1-for-5, but that one included a number of significant breakdowns by the B’s, including a failed clear by Kelly just before Smyth’s tally.

Notes: Andrew Ference left with an injury during the second period and did not return for the final frame. Coach Claude Julien said it’s a lower-body injury.

Final Thoughts: Boston pushed their winning streak to four with the win tonight. During their run they’ve scored 24 goals, a far cry from the offensively-impotent team that struggled going 3-7-0 out of the gate.

Next: The Buffalo Sabres are next up. They’ll visit the Garden on Saturday night.