The Boston Bruins came up short against the Edmonton Oilers in their final visit to Rexall Place, formerly known as the Northlands Coliseum, ending their five-game win streak. The chances were there but the B’s dropped a 3-2 shootout loss to the team that hired former GM Peter Chiarelli and has not enjoyed much success early in the 2015-16.
The B’s negated 1-0 and 2-1 deficits compliments of Mark Letestu and former Bruin Matt Hendricks with goals by Torey Krug and Zdeno Chara late in the second and third periods. Matt Beleskey played another solid game
The teams each posted eight shots apiece in a scoreless opening period that, but Edmonton broke through at 10:23 of the second frame while on the penalty kill when a poor line change by David Krejci left Krug alone to fend off a 2-on-1 break. With Krug backing in and Hendricks skating in on net, the Boston defender lost his edge and went down. Hendricks put the puck back against the grain to Letestu, who redirected it into the net with Tuukka Rask leaning over to his right and unable to get back over to prevent the puck from crossing the goal line.
Krug evened the game with 1:33 remaining in the period after he took the puck out near the left point and threw it on net. It hit Oilers defenseman Andrej Sekera and bounced into the cage on the short side past Edmonton goalie Anders Nilsson. It was only Krug’s second goal of the season and his first tally in seven games since lighting the lamp against his hometown Detroit Red Wings on November 14.
Letestu returned the favor to Hendricks in the third period to restore the Edmonton lead, getting the puck to his linemate as he drove to the Boston net for the deflection.
That set the stage for Chara to get the equalizer after an excellent shift by the Beleskey-Krejci-Loui Eriksson line to gain possession along the end boards. Krejci then came out from behind the right post and found the captain uncovered between the hashmarks for his fourth goal of the season to make it 2-2 with less than four minutes remaining in regulation.
The teams battled hard in overtime, which was made interesting in the final minute and change when the referees whistled Beleskey for an interesting (a mild way of putting it) interference call in the Boston crease when Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had the puck. Beleskey buried him from behind and knocked the goal off the moorings, shaking Rask up in the process, but the B’s top goalie stayed in and made several crucial stops in the 4-on-3 power play to keep the score tied.
In the shootout, Rask denied Hendricks, not taking the bait on the head fake as the puck slid wide. Patrice Bergeron was unable to get the puck over a sprawling Nilsson. Jordan Eberle then beat Rask with a forehand shot in off the post. Nilsson then denied Brad Marchand and Krejci to get his sixth shootout win of his career to extend his record to 6-0.
Bruins take on Calgary next on Friday night.
No ups or downs tonight- early work call.