Mistake-filled matchup sees Oilers rally to salvage point: ‘All that matters’

Mason Lohrei collected three assists, and Charlie McAvoy slid in the OT winner as the Boston Bruins held on to win 6-5 against the Edmonton Oilers.

EDMONTON — You can look at a game where the goaltending was subpar, where a couple of your best players were average at best, where you had another awful second period, and say it was a point wasted.

Or, you can assess a game where you trailed a top team by a score of 4-1 with 26 minutes to play, and you rescued a point in a 6-5 overtime loss, and say, “We’ll take it.”

The Edmonton Oilers will likely do the latter, after collecting just their second loser point of the season in a game that a better — and healthier — Boston Bruins team would surely lock down.

“There were a few mistakes,” said Oilers winger Corey Perry, who scored his third as an Oiler. “But we found a way to get a point and that is all that matters after being down 4-1.”

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This was like one of those old Smythe Division specials, with 11 goals — and only one on the power play. Neither goalie, Stuart Skinner or Jeremy Swayman, distinguished themselves, but both gutted it out, making massive saves in overtime before Charlie McAvoy weaved his way through the slot to cash an OT beauty.

If hockey is a game of mistakes, well, then this was certainly a hockey game. Two good teams, neither of whom will enjoy their video session on Thursday.

After a 1-1 opening period, Boston scored three straight in the second, a frame that is fast becoming a problem for Edmonton. The Oilers have allowed 16 goals in their last six second periods.

They know it’s an issue.

“If we had the answers, we would fix it right away,” Perry said. “If we play the way we can, the way we did in the last five minutes of the second period, where we hemmed them in and they iced the puck a few times, and we just kept on rolling them over, that’s how we have to play. It’s proven to be successful. We know we can do it, we just have to put it together.”

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Perry scored a typically greasy goal in the third that tied the game at 4-4. He tipped a point shot, which caused a rebound that he cashed in on.

He’s been found money for Edmonton, who gave up nothing but a prorated minimum salary and some small bonuses for Perry.

“The greatest compliment you can give someone is that he is a winner,” said Zach Hyman, who scored his 34th. “He knows how to win and what it takes.”

Edmonton rode an eight-game winning streak at home into this one, but was without the sublime Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (illness). The longest-serving Oiler touches every part of the game, and is noticeable in his absence.

“Nuge is an unbelievable player and a huge part of the team who plays in every facet of the game,” Hyman said. “He is the first guy over the boards on the PK and is on the first unit (power play) and plays a lot of five-on-five. You can’t replace a guy like that. He is just a huge part of the team and obviously we missed him.”

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As bad as the Oilers looked in the second period, they looked that good in the third. When Edmonton gets to playing the game as fast as it was, the Oilers are a handful. Even for a top team like Boston.

“Obviously, they had a great push by a great team in the third period and it kind of snowballed,” said Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “But we went right back to work afterwards. When they made it 4-4, the next four minutes I thought we controlled the game.

“Our bench was relatively calm, despite the fact it looked like we were in an avalanche for a little while there.”

Warren Foegele got the promotion into Nugent-Hopkins’ spot on the left side of Connor McDavid. He had a two-goal night and was very effective.

“Just trying to make the most of my opportunity whenever I get up there,” he said. “It’s great that we got that point, and we fought our way back. But it just felt like a game where we made a really good push. I really thought we were going to get the win.”

IN THE CREASE: McDavid stretched his home points streak to 20 games, becoming the sixth player to have two such streaks. Wayne Gretzky had eight. … Skinner made his 100th start. He has 61 wins in those starts, second in Oilers history only to Andy Moog, who won 67 of his first 100 starts.

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