David Pastrnak lifted the Boston Bruins over the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1, in overtime with his game-winning breakaway goal about a minute into the extra frame at Rogers Place on Wednesday night.
Bruins goaltender, Tuukka Rask (23-5-6 record, 2.04 goals against average, .932 save percentage in 35 games played) made 28 saves on 29 shots against for a .966 SV% in the win.
Oilers goaltender, Mike Smith (16-10-5 record, 2.89 GAA, .905 SV% in 33 games played), stopped 32 shots out of 34 shots faced for a .941 SV% in the overtime loss.
Boston improved to 38-11-12 (88 points) on the season and maintained their dominance atop the Atlantic Division, while Edmonton fell to 32-21-7 (71 points), but remained in command of the Pacific Division.
With the win, the Bruins have now won 11 out of their last 13 games (including ten out of their last 11 games) and improved to 17-9-3 on the road this season.
Boston was without the services of Kevan Miller (knee) and Connor Clifton (upper body/AHL conditioning loan) on Wednesday, while Par Lindholm, John Moore and Anton Blidh served as healthy scratches for the B’s.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, made no changes to his lineup from Sunday afternoon’s, 3-1, victory in New York against the Rangers.
Almost midway through the opening frame, Pastrnak worked the puck to Brad Marchand as the veteran winger brought the rubber biscuit into the attacking zone along the boards.
Marchand flipped a quick pass to Patrice Bergeron (27) in the slot, whereby Bergeron deked and got a forehand shot around Smith to give Boston the game’s first lead, 1-0, at 8:28 of the first period.
Bergeron’s goal was assisted by Marchand (52) and Pastrnak (41) as No. 37 in black and gold amassed his fifth goal in his last six games.
About 90 seconds later, Ethan Bear slashed Marchand and was assessed a minor infraction, yielding the game’s first power play to the Bruins at 10:56.
Boston did not score on the ensuing power play opportunity.
A few minutes after the Oilers killed off Bear’s minor, Joakim Nordstrom tripped up Gaetan Haas and presented Edmonton with their first power play of the night at 15:12, but the Oilers’ skater advantage was short lived.
Kailer Yamamoto caught Charlie Coyle with a high stick at 16:07 of the first period and drew some blood– resulting in a four-minute double minor infraction assessed to Yamamoto and 4-on-4 action for a span of 1:05 before Boston had an abbreviated extended power play.
After 20 minutes of action in Edmonton, the Bruins were leading the Oilers, 1-0, on the scoreboard and, 10-2, in shots on goal.
Edmonton held the advantage in blocked shots (10-4), giveaways (6-5) and faceoff win percentage (67-33), while Boston led in takeaways (5-4) and hits (9-7).
The Oilers were 0/1 on the skater advantage and the Bruins were 0/3 on the power play entering the first intermission.
Early in the middle frame, Adam Larsson slashed Marchand and was sent to the sin bin at 3:37 of the second period.
Boston did not score on the ensuing power play– a trend which lasted the entire night for the Bruins.
Moments later, Torey Krug tripped up Haas and cut a rut to the penalty box at 6:49, but Edmonton didn’t capitalize on the resulting power play.
Just past the midpoint of Wednesday night’s action, Bergeron was called for hooking Bear at 10:56 as Boston was forced to kill off back-to-back penalties.
While on the power play, Oilers forward, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was penalized for holding the stick while tying up Coyle from entering the neutral zone and assessed a minor penalty at 12:15– resulting in 41 seconds of 4-on-4 action before the Bruins had an abbreviated power play.
Through two periods of play at Rogers Place, Boston still held a, 1-0, lead over Edmonton, despite trailing the Oilers, 20-19, in shots on goal heading into the second intermission.
Edmonton actually held an, 18-9, advantage in shots on goal in the second period alone, while also leading in blocked shots (16-9), takeaways (5-4) and faceoff win% (64-36) after 40 minutes of action.
Boston held the advantage in giveaways (10-9) and hits (18-15) as neither team had mustered a power play goal– with the Oilers operating at 0/3 and the B’s at 0/5 on the skater advantage.
Karson Kuhlman tripped Caleb Jones at 1:59 of the third period and presented Edmonton with a power play early in the final frame.
This time the Oilers took advantage of their skater advantage as Bear wired a shot from the point that Sam Gagner (5) deflected over Rask’s glove from in front of the net.
Bear (14) and Nugent-Hopkins (30) were credited with the primary and secondary assists as the Oilers tied the game, 1-1, with Gagner’s power play goal at 3:42 of the third period.
Less than a couple minutes later, Edmonton had too many skaters on the ice at what was supposed to be regular 5-on-5 action. As a result, the Oilers were charged with a bench minor for too many men at 5:25 and Yamamoto was elected to serve the infraction.
Moments later, after failing to capitalize on their legal skater advantage, the Bruins found themselves shorthanded once again as Nordstrom was dealt a roughing minor at 9:34 after a fracas developed behind the Boston net.
Edmonton didn’t score on the resulting power play and, in fact, cut short their own skater advantage when Darnell Nurse slashed Coyle to breakup a shorthanded breakaway for the Bruins center.
Nurse was sent to the box at 11:10 and the two teams skated 4-on-4 once more for 24 seconds before Boston went on an abbreviated power play.
Late in the period, Pastrnak tripped up William Lagesson and was sent to the box at 17:30, but the Oilers weren’t able to score on their last power play of the night.
At the end of regulation, the game was tied, 1-1, despite the Bruins holding the advantage in shots on goal, 33-29.
Edmonton led in blocked shots (17-12), takeaways (8-7) and faceoff win% (62-28), while both teams had 15 giveaways and 22 hits aside.
As there were no penalties called in the overtime period, the Oilers finished 1/6 and the Bruins finished 0/7 on the power play.
Cassidy started Coyle, Jake DeBrusk and Charlie McAvoy in overtime, while Oilers head coach, Dave Tippett, opted for Leon Draisaitl, Yamamoto and Bear.
A little over a minute into the extra action, David Krejci sent Pastrnak on a breakaway into the attacking zone with a lead pass through the neutral zone.
Pastrnak (43) deked and sent a backhand shot through Smith’s five-hole– clinching the game-winning overtime goal in the process– and lifting the Bruins over the Oilers, 2-1, in overtime.
Krejci (27) and Krug (32) notched the assists on Pastrnak’s goal at 1:14 of the overtime period.
Boston finished the night leading in shots on goal (34-29), while Edmonton wrapped up Wednesday night with the advantage in blocked shots (19-12), giveaways (16-15) and faceoff win% (62-38).
Both teams finished the night with 22 hits each, while the Oilers fell to 3-5 in overtime this season.
Boston, in the meantime, improved to 5-5 in overtime this season, while Pastrnak recorded his 25th multi-point game this season with a goal and an assist in Wednesday night’s effort.
The Bruins improved to 23-7-8 when scoring the game’s first goal, 22-5-3 when leading after the first period and 23-1-6 when leading after two periods this season.
The B’s also improved to 5-5 in overtime this season and 5-12 past regulation overall.
Boston continues their four-game road trip (2-0-0) with stops against the Calgary Flames on Friday and Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.
The Bruins return home for a two-game homestand on Feb. 25th and Feb. 27th for meetings with the Flames and Dallas Stars, respectively, before wrapping up the month of February with a road game against the New York Islanders on Feb. 29th.