The injured and flu-stricken Bruins were seriously short-staffed
when they arrived in Edmonton, but summoned enough energy to build a
3-0 lead and cling to it for dear life, and the final 40 minutes of
a 4-2 victory at Rexall Place.
"I told the guys that they would come back hard on us," said Boston
coach Claude Julien. "I didn't like the goals we gave up for what we
expect of our team. They were sloppy, but credit to them. They
skated and showed their skill level and gave us a really tough game.
"At the end we were just hanging on. Our bench is short and we have
been struggling with the health of our team and you could see that
it was a matter of winning it in regulation or I don't think we come
out of here with a win."
A game between the first place team in the East (Boston is 22-8-2)
and last place in the West (the Oilers are 11-19-3) wasn't the
blowout many predicted.
The Oilers fought back to make it 3-2 after 40 minutes and pressed
furiously in the third, out-shooting Boston 13-3, but couldn't
complete the last step of the comeback. It wasn't over until right
winger Jarome Iginla sealed it into an empty net with 44 seconds
left in the game.
"We had a great start to the game, but you have to give the Oilers
credit," said Iginla. "They are a dynamic young team and they create
lots of chances. When they start feeling it, they can really get it
"But we also probably didn't have the same legs we have had at
different times. The most important thing is that we found a way to
win a game that wasn't perfect or that pretty."
After going 7-3-1 in their previous 11 starts, the Oilers were
anxious to see how they stood up against one of the better teams in
They didn't like the answer much in the first period, as Boston
scored three goals in less than eight minutes to put the home team
in an early hole.
The Bruins opened with a lucky one, defenceman Dennis Seidenberg's
floater from the blue line at 10:25, made it 2-0 on a bullet of a
one-timer from Iginla at 16:11 and took a 3-0 lead into the first
intermission when right winger Brad Marchand scored short-handed at
The Oilers have given up a league-leading seven short-handed goals
[to top of second column]
"I don't know if we won a single battle in the first period,"
said Oilers coach Dallas Eakins. "I don't know if we thought,
'It's the Boston Bruins, they're one of the top teams in the
league, we have to be cautious,' or what. But you can't play
cautious against anybody or you'll get killed."
Goaltender Devan Dubnyk got the hook during the first
intermission, leaving back-up Jason LaBarbera to mop up the
final 40 minutes.
"I just thought it was time for a change," said Eakins. "It
wasn't a mercy pull, it wasn't because that first one went in
from far out. I just thought we needed a change. Usually that
change gives everyone a kick in the butt."
It appeared to, as Edmonton fought back hard in the second
period, led by left winger David Perron, who has been the heart
and soul of Edmonton's recent surge.
Perron closed the gap to 3-1 at 3:25 and made it a one-goal game
with his second of the night at 17:27 to set up the third period
"We played with them in the second and the third, and I actually
thought our first wasn't as bad as the score looked," said
Perron, pointing out that Edmonton had 41 shots in the loss. "It
was frustrating that we weren't able to come all the way back. I
think the most frustrating thing was hitting the post in the
last minute. I think I'm going to have nightmares about that
NOTES: The Bruins, already weakened by the flu when they arrived
in Edmonton, were minus five forwards to injury or suspension.
Marc Savard (concussion), LW Chris Kelly (ankle), LW Daniel
Paille (upper body), RW Loui Eriksson (concussion) and LW Shawn
Thornton (suspension) were out. The blue line was also hurting,
with D Adam McQuaid (lower body) and D Doug Hamilton (lower
body) out. ... With G Tuukka Rask down with the flu, the Bruins
called in a goalie from the University of Alberta Golden Bears
hockey team to help out in practice Wednesday. ... Oilers D Jeff
Petry passed all of his concussion tests and returned the lineup
after getting rocked last Saturday against Calgary. ... LW Ryan
Smyth, who'd been playing his best hockey in years, missed his
second straight game with a pinched nerve in his neck. ...
Oilers G Devan Dubnyk has appeared in 17 of the last 18 games.
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