The Bruins won their fourth straight game with a 5-2 victory over a struggling Edmonton Oilers, thanks to goals from Smith, Eriksson, Lucic, and a pair from Soderberg.
With an injured Taylor Hall and a suspended Andrew Ference, the Oilers were looking to end their three-game losing streak with a win in Boston.
Simultaneously, the Bruins were dealing with a plethora of injuries with defensemen Zdeno Chara out 4-6 weeks with a torn PCL, Torey Krug out 2-3 weeks with a broken finger, and Kevan Miller out indefinitely with a separated shoulder.
The B’s top center, David Krejci, has been dealing with a pesky hip injury that saw him sitting for three games at the beginning of the season. Prior to tonight’s return to the line up, his last appearance was against the Sabres on October 30th.
The B’s first chance came early, with a beautiful passing sequence from Seth Griffith to David Krejci. Krejci then fed it to Milan Lucic, who couldn’t get a hold on the puck. Dougie Hamilton was called for tripping to put the Bruins on their first penalty kill of the night. During the kill, Brad Marchand was able to force a 2-on-1, but Ben Scrivens denied Marchand’s drive with a kick save. Shortly after killing the penalty, Matt Hendricks was sent to the box, putting the Bruins on their first power play since facing the Ottawa Senators. They were unable to produce.
To end the first, the Bruins were put on the penalty kill after Krejci was sent to the box for a double-minor for high sticking. Boyd Gordon put the Oilers up 1-0 after slapping in a rebound. Hamilton almost prevented it by swatting it away, but upon review, the goal was deemed good. The Bruins killed the remaining two minutes of the double minor successfully. With a little over a minute left in the first, Reilly Smith tied the game up for Boston on a nifty wrister from the top of the circle that beat Scrivens glove side.
The Bruins successfully killed Krejci’s hooking penalty, called at minute 20 of the first, to start the second period. Lucic was able to draw a penalty on Nikita Nikitin after driving the net. Griffith caught a tough break, putting the puck in the net just as the whistle blew. The second period ended with the game still tied 1-1.
The Oilers struck early in the third, with Mark Arcobello notching their second goal of the night. The Bruins killed their third penalty of the night, after Chris Kelly got sent to the box for holding. For the second time of the night, the Bruins were robbed of a goal due to a premature whistle on the ref’s part. Loui Eriksson got a handle on a loose puck and was able to tie the game up for the Bruins after a few minutes of great offensive pressure and missed chances from the Bruins. The Bruins were sent on the power play shortly after, as Nikitin was sent to the box for a trip on Patrice Bergeron. Dougie Hamilton gave the puck to Bergeron, who fed the puck to Carl Soderberg. Soderberg put the puck home from his knees to give the Bruins the game winner, putting them ahead 3-2. Another penalty was called on Edmonton, and a give-and-go from Eriksson to Hamilton with Soderberg tipping it in gave the Bruins their third goal within 2:34. Hamilton’s assist was his third point of the night. In his 500th career game, Lucic scored an empty-netter to seal the game 5-3.