Marchand, Nordstrom lead Bruins past Oilers

Connor McDavid scored his first of the year but the Bruins answered with three goals of their own in the first period to get a 4-1 win over the Oilers.

BOSTON — The Boston Bruins couldn’t stop Edmonton star Connor McDavid. They did shut down the rest of the Oilers.

The Bruins answered McDavid’s early goal by scoring three straight in the first period and shut down the frustrated Oilers the rest of the way in a 4-1 victory Thursday night.

“It’s hard to stop a guy like that. Sometimes it happens with an early one. You just have to chip away,” Boston’s David Krejci said. “We responded really well.

David Pastrnak tied it with his fourth goal of the season at 9:20, then the Bruins got back-to-back goals from Brad Marchand and Joakim Nordstrom in a 36-second span and Boston led 3-1.

That was plenty of offence for Jaroslav Halak, who stopped 25 shots in his home debut for Boston to help the Bruins win their third straight.

“We don’t give them anything easy. We defended well tonight,” Halak said.

Halak didn’t allow anything past him after McDavid blew through the Boston defence and slipped one in at 3:43 for his first goal of the season.

Cam Talbot had 28 saves for Edmonton and kept it close, but the Oilers never recovered after Boston took control in the first.

“We had a couple that were inches away,” Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins said. “We’ve just got to keep pushing through that.”

The Oilers were playing only their second game of the season after falling 5-2 to New Jersey on Saturday in Sweden.

“We didn’t create a lot of offence and when we finally did, the bounces didn’t go our way,” Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said. “I thought we had the start that we wanted to have.”

Patrice Bergeron added an empty-netter in the final minute and finished with a goal and an assist. Defenceman Matt Grzelcyk had a pair of assists for the Bruins. They have won three straight since getting shut out by Washington 7-0 in the season opener.

After Pastrnak tied it on a power-play goal, slipping the puck between his own legs and beating Talbot with a backhand, Marchand gave Boston its first lead at 14:37 on another power play off a centring pass from Grzelcyk. Nordstrom scored again for Boston 36 seconds later on a give-and-go with Krejci.

“It was really important that we got the next two goals,” Pastrnak said.

Edmonton just missed on two opportunities in the third. Boston captain Zdeno Chara poked the puck away after a shot by Nugent-Hopkins slid along the goal line behind Halak as Edmonton’s Ty Rattie raised his arms, thinking Edmonton had scored. Play continued and replays showed the puck didn’t cross.

The Oilers were short-handed a few minutes later when Tobias Rieder got a breakaway on Halak, who stretched out for a save with his left pad to preserve the two-goal lead.

Notes: The teams will again next Thursday night in Edmonton. … Bergeron had a goal and an assist, and Grzelcyk had two assists. … Halak made his first home start as a member of the Bruins. … Pastrnak has 98 career goals. … The game was stopped for a few minutes late in the second period when a hit knocked the glass loose behind the Edmonton net.


Oilers: At the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

Bruins: Host Detroit on Saturday.

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