EDMONTON — The Boston Bruins have proven up to the task of playing tight games and coming out on top.
“I think we’re used to playing those kind of games right now, it’s nothing unusual for us,” said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask, who made 28 saves for the win. “We know that we can play that kind of game and that comes with experience in the playoffs and everything for us, so it’s no problem for us.
“Once you move closer to the playoffs these games are going to become more tight checking, so you better get used to it.”
Patrice Bergeron also scored for the Bruins (38-11-12), who have won four straight and gone 10-1-0 in their last 11 outings.
“Typically when we’re at our best it’s a low-scoring game and we force the other team to stay in the game,” said Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy. “I give Edmonton a lot of credit, they’ve done that lately, they know they’re light in their lineup, so good for the American League guys to come up and do that job.”
Sam Gagner replied for the injury-riddled Oilers (32-21-7), who saw a two-game winning streak snapped as they continue to fight without the services of captain Connor McDavid and several other regulars.
“It’s a valuable point for us, but what we want to learn from that game is we need some swagger early on,” Gagner said. “Making plays under pressure and having confidence with the puck in the first period would have set us up better. But we clawed our way to a point. There was a lot to like against a really good team.”
Boston drew first blood eight-and-a-half minutes into the opening period as Brad Marchand got it through to Bergeron in the slot and he beat Smith with a skillful deke for his 27th goal of the season.
The Bruins had 10 shots on net in the first, while Edmonton was only able to direct two towards Rask.
Edmonton turned the tables on the shot clock with a 18-9 edge in the second period, but it remained a one-goal game through 40 minutes.
The Oilers tied the game up on the power play four minutes into the third period, as Gagner tipped an Ethan Bear shot up high over Rask for his fifth of the season.
Boston had a glorious chance to win the game with four minutes to play in the third, but Pastrnak hit the post to eventually send the game to extra time.
Both teams are back in action on Friday as the Bruins are in Calgary to face the Flames and the Oilers host the Minnesota Wild.
Notes: It was the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. Edmonton won the first 4-1 in Boston. ? Edmonton is going through a tough stretch on the injury front. They were without Connor McDavid (quad), Joakim Nygard (hand), Kris Russell (concussion), James Neal (foot) and Oscar Klefbom (shoulder), and were also missing Zack Kassian due to a suspension. ? The Oilers called up highly-touted defenceman Evan Bouchard from Bakersfield of the American Hockey League on Wednesday but he did not play.