February 1, 2014

Scrivens, Oilers come crashing back to Earth in loss to B's

By Jesse Connolly

Ben Scrivens, who set an NHL record with a 59-save shutout Wednesday, was under siege all game long, including here on Zdeno Chara's bid from close range. (Photo by Sharon Bradley/New England Hockey Journal)

Final: Boston 4, Edmonton 0

Recap: After a scoreless first period that shouldn't have been scoreless, as the Bruins shot themselves in the foot by sending well more than half their shot attempts high or wide of the net, the Oilers seemed to gain some traction after putting just two pucks on net in the opening frame. 

In the second, Nick Schultz had his stick break with Boston on the power play. The B's took advantage, with David Krejci firing home a slap shot from the point.  

The Bruins finally pulled away in the third. Dougie Hamilton made it 2-1 at the 6:43 mark, Carl Soderberg pushed the lead to two with a little under seven minutes left, and the Bruins closed out the scoring on a nice power-play goal set up by Zdeno Chara down low to make it a 4-0 final.

Records: Boston 35-16-3, 73 points; Edmonton 18-33-6, 42 points

Key Play of the Game: It was almost comical how lucky the Oilers were to only have been down 1-0 early in the third period. The Bruins weren't without their flaws (shooting accuracy) at that juncture, but Edmonton's nearly nonexistent offense, out-chanced power play and beyond lackluster showing defensively made it clear who didn't deserve to win the contest. Hamilton's goal gave a better Boston team some much-needed breathing room.

Connolly's Commendations: In case you weren't aware, Chad Johnson was in goal today for the Boston Bruins. His second career shutout required arguably one high-quality stop, which came five minutes into the contest on a breakaway by Ales Hemsky -- the Oilers' first shot of the day. Johnson finished the afternoon with 22 saves.

It was a good day for a Boston power play that's run hot and cold of late. Two of the B's four goals came on the man advantage. Jarome Iginla had two power-play assists. Boston finished 2-for-5 on the day, and killed off all four of Edmonton's power plays.

Connolly's Critiques: Damn the hockey gods for allowing Andrew Ference to be out on the ice for all four of the Bruins' goals in his first game back in Boston. Good things are supposed to happen to good people. Obviously they didn't get the memo.

Notes: Carl Soderberg extended his point streak to four games (2g, 3a). ... Boston wins the season series, 2-0, having outscored the Oilers 8-2 in the two tilts. ... Torey Krug now has six points in the last six games. ... With the win, the Bruins improve to 12-4-3 against the Western Conference. ... The loss ends Edmonton's three-game winning streak.

Final Thoughts: Whether you want to blame the Bruins or credit the Oilers, the fact remains that Edmonton managed to hang around in this one for much longer than they should've. Boston ultimately put the game away, and that's what matters most, but they should've been able to put the tilt out of reach sooner.

Next: The Bruins will host John Tortorella (Melrose, Mass.) and the Canucks on Tuesday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com