Bruins-Oilers Live: Chad Johnson Makes Career-High 39 Saves As B’s Hold On for 4-2 Win

Reilly SmithFinal, Bruins 4-2: That’s it, and that’s all.

The Bruins continue to find a way to win, and they get out of Edmonton with the 4-2 win.

Third period, 19:11, Bruins 4-2: There it is. Jarome Iginla just scored the empty-netter from the red line, and the Bruins will win.

Third period, 19:00, Bruins 3-2: The Bruins killed the penalty and the net is empty.

Third period, 16:52, Bruins 3-2: There was just a scramble in front of the Bruins’ net for the puck, and Dennis Seidenberg dove at the puck in front.

Seidenberg ended up putting his hand over the puck, which is a no-no. He was called for the penalty, and now the Bruins will have a huge power play to kill off.

Third period, 15:00, Bruins 3-2: For perhaps the first time all period, the Bruins were able to sustain some possession in the Edmonton zone. That being said, they weren’t able to get anything at the net.

The Patrice Bergeron line certainly did some cycling, but they weren’t able to get a shot on goal. As it stands, the Bruins have just one shot on goal in the third period. They’ve been outshot 11-1 in the third and 25-11 since the second period began.

Yet, they still hold the lead.

Third period, 11:07, Bruins 3-2: That’s a really big penalty kill for the Bruins.

Johnny Boychuk was especially impressive for that kill. The Bruins defenseman blocked a shot and also won a key puck battle despite the fact that Edmonton had hemmed in the Bruins for just about the entire power play, or at least the first 90 seconds.

The B’s were finally able to clear the zone and some good stick work from Patrice Bergeron was enough to bleed away the penalty clock to end the power play.

Third period, 8:54, Bruins 3-2: Brad Marchand is going to the penalty box, and the Oilers have a chance to tie the game on the power play.

Marchand was called for interference, and we’ve got a pretty important power play here.

Third period, 7:50, Bruins 3-2: Chad Johnson continues to be a rock in net for the Bruins, as the Oilers don’t show any signs of letting up.

Johnson is now up over 30 saves after he just made his 31st save on a Sam Gagner slap shot from the left point.

While the Oilers continue to generate chances, the Bruins are struggling to get much going offensively. They were so effective in the first period because they were able to get pucks deep and win puck battles. In the second and third periods, however, they haven’t been able to do that nearly as much, which is a big reason they haven’t scored since the opening frame.

Third period, 4:44, Bruins 3-2:  The Bruins are still ahead by a goal, and that’s thanks to Chad Johnson.

The Bruins goalie just made a fantastic glove save on Nail Yakupov after Yakupov took a drop pass from David Perron. Yakupov quickly put it on net, but Johnson threw up the glove and kept the lead in tact.

Third period, 1:31, Bruins 3-2: Scary moment for the Bruins here in the opening minutes of the third period.

Dennis Seidenberg took a puck up high, perhaps to the neck, and went to the ice quickly. The good news, though, is that Seidenberg skated off with no issue and looked to stay on the bench.

Third period, 0:01, Bruins 3-2: We’re underway here in the third period with this game still very up for grabs.

End second period, Bruins 3-2: What a difference a period makes.

The Oilers played a very strong period following an iffy first period, and they came out in the second and took it to the Bruins. It’s now just a one-goal game in Edmonton.

Second period, 17:27, Bruins 3-2: We have ourselves a hockey game.

David Perron just beat a pair of Bruins in puck battles in the Boston zone, and then he wrapped around the net and beat Bruins goalie Chad Johnson to the opposite post. Perron was just able to sneak the puck inside the post to make it a one-goal game.

That’s Perron’s second of the game.

Second period, 13:19, Bruins 3-1: Poor Nick Johnson.

The recently recalled Bruins forward looked like he was going to have a breakaway when a loose puck started bouncing toward him as he was coming out of the Edmonton zone.

However, Johnson ended up stumbling as he entered the zone, and it was just enough for an Oiler to catch up to him and lift his stick to thwart any sort of scoring chance Johnson would have had.

Second period, 10:44, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins have picked up their own pace midway through the period.

Patrice Bergeron just did a nice job of forechecking, and that led to chances for both he and Reilly Smith ended up getting shots on goal. However, Jason LaBarbera is making Dallas Eakins look smart, at least in the limited chances the goalie has seen since being put in to start the period.

Second period, 7:00, Bruins 3-1: The Bruins jumped out to that 3-0 lead in the first period, but it wasn’t an especially dominant period. The Oilers put 14 shots on goal in the first, and Chad Johnson did a great job of keeping the game scoreless.

The Oilers are picking up where they left off, though, and they’re certainly putting the pressure on the Bruins here in the second period. Edmonton is outshooting the Bruins 6-0 in the second period, and they are certainly dictating the pace by playing a much quicker game than the B’s would probably like to play.

Second period, 5:18, Bruins 3-1: You’d be hard-pressed to find a better fight between two heavyweights than we just saw.

Milan Lucic just dropped the gloves with Luke Gazdic who tried like hell to get Lucic to go before the Bruins forward finally dropped the gloves. It was a pretty even fight, but it certainly looked like Gazdic caught Lucic with two big right hands square in the face. Lucic was bleeding as he skated to the penalty box.

Second period, 3:25, Bruins 3-1: OK, so it’s not over just yet.

David Perron, who has been very good for the Oilers this season, just continued his impressive season with his 13th goal of the season. Perron just ripped a wrist shot from the right wing up under the post that got by Chad Johnson’s blocker.

That was a wicked wrister.

Second period, 0:01, Bruins 3-0: The second period is underway, and the Oilers have a new goaltender. Jason LaBarbera replaces Devan Dubnyk.

End first period, Bruins 3-0: The first period comes to an end and not a moment too soon for the Oilers.

The Bruins are up 3-0 as they head to the first intermission.

First period, 18:17, Bruins 3-0: This thing is just about over.

Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand were able to get a 2-on-1 out of the Bruins’ zone, which is usually bad news for the opposition. It was this time around, as Bergeron waited and waited before finally giving it Marchand who roofed it over Devan Dubnyk.

First period, 17:35, Bruins 2-0: Give the Oilers credit: they’re not showing any quit after falling down 2-0.

They’re going on the power play now because Jordan Caron is going to the penalty box for slashing.

First period, 16:11, Bruins 2-0: The Bruins are this close to making this one ugly.

Jarome Iginla just blasted a shot from the right wing that beat Devan Dubynk five-hole. The Bruins did a wondrous job of cycling the puck along the boards in the offensive end that led to the goal.

Milan Lucic did a great job of standing in front of Dubynk and gave him absolutely no look at the shot from Iginla, which makes it pretty diffuclt to stop a 500-goal scorer.

First period, 15:14, Bruins 1-0: Some issues with puck possession just led to an unsuccessful power play for the Bruins.

Jarome Iginla threw away a pass in the attacking zone, and Dennis Seidenberg ended up having trouble getting the puck out of the Boston zone after retrieving it. That sequence alone cost the Bruins about 10-15 seconds of power-play time that could have been spent in the attacking zone had Iginla not made the errant pass.

First period, 13:08, Bruins 1-0: Now the Bruins are going on the power play.

Philip Larsen just put the puck over the glass in his own zone, and he’ll get the delay of game penalty.

First period, 10:25, Bruins 1-0: And the Bruins have the first goal of the game.

The Oilers got caught in a bad transitional play with the Bruins going the other way with numbers. Dennis Seidenberg carried the puck into the zone down the left wing and looked to his right as he led the rush.

It appeared as if Seidenberg was either going to pass or it send around the boards, but he ended up putting it on goal. Good idea. He beat Devan Dubnyk to give the B’s a 1-0 lead.

Boston has been buzzing, too. They had great scoring chances in the slot from both Torey Krug and Reilly Smith that Dubnyk denied.

First period, 6:05, 0-0: The Bruins’ fourth line deserves a ton of credit for earning the B’s a power play late in Tuesday’s game when a relentless shift led to a Joe Colborne delay of game.

They just turned in another solid shift in the Edmonton end that ended with a chance right in front for Gregory Campbell. Devan Dubnyk was able to make the stop and cover it up, but it will get the Bruins an offensive-zone faceoff after the break.

Boston is already outshooting Edmonton 6-3 after putting just nine shots on period Tuesday in the first and second periods combined.

First period, 4:00, 0-0: We’re hardly four minutes into the game, and the Bruins already have three shots on goal.

The Oilers have all kinds of talent on offense, at least on the top two lines, but they’re still working on the defensive side of things. It’s quite the work in progress.

First period, 0:01, 0-0:  The game is underway.

9:20 p.m.: One of the game-changing moments Tuesday in Calgary was when Claude Julien decided to shake up his third line by reuniting Reilly Smith and Carl Soderberg with Ryan Spooner in the middle.

It looks like the Bruins will start the game with that line, according to pregame line rushes.

Here are the projected lines for the Bruins against the Oilers.

Milan Lucic — David Krejci — Jarome Iginla

Brad Marchand — Patrice Bergeron — Matt Fraser
Carl Soderberg — Ryan Spooner — Reilly Smith
Jordan Caron– Gregory Campbell — Nick Johnson

Zdeno Chara — Johnny Boychuk
Dennis Seidenberg — Torey Krug
Matt Bartkowski — Kevan Miller

Former Springfield Falcons goalie Devan Dubnyk will start for the Oilers

8:40 p.m.: We now know who will be in net for the Bruins in this one.

Claude Julien just revealed that Chad Johnson will get the start for the B’s. He was actually supposed to start Tuesday in Calgary, but he ended up coming down with the flu. Julien said that Rask’s bout with the flu is at a point where it makes more sense to go with Johnson in this one. It makes sense, too, as it will allow Rask to rest up for Saturday night when the Bruins take on the Vancouver Canucks.

6:15 p.m.: It’s been a long and busy day, so apologies for the late check-in, as we’re just a little more than three hours away from getting underway in Edmonton.

The Bruins did not have a morning skate this morning, which is probably a good call given their injury situation right now. The latest ailment affecting the club is the flu bug. The flu is making its rounds through the Boston locker room. Goalie Tuukka Rask was the latest to come down with the flu, and he missed Wednesday’s practice in Edmonton. With no morning skate and still not knowing Rask’s status healthwise, it’s unclear who will get the start in goal for this one.

Whoever is between the pipes for the Bruins will have to deal with trying to slow down Taylor Hall. The former No. 1 draft pick is having himself another fine season and has really turned it on as of late. Hall, tied for the team lead in points, is on a four-game poitn streak with 5-3-8 totals over that stretch. He’s also on a three-game goal streak with five combined tallies in those games.

One way the Bruins will likely look to try and do this is to impose their will physically. They’re bigger and stronger than the Oilers, which is something Edmonton is certainly aware of. As a result, expect the Oilers to try and use their team speed to give the Bruins fits.

“I think it might not be the smartest game plan to try and match them physically,” Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said after morning skate. “If you don’t match up that way, there’s no use trying to do it. I want to use more of our speed, and our smarts against them.”

8 a.m.: It’s a week of reunions for the Bruins. On Tuesday, Jarome Iginla made his triumphant return to Calgary. On Thursday, the Bruins will take on one of the most respected ex-B’s in recent memory.

The Bruins will be in Edmonton on Thursday night to take on the Edmonton Oilers. The matchup will mark the first time that Andrew Ference has taken on his former since team since the former Boston defenseman signed with the Oilers in the offseason. Shortly after Ference signed with the club, he was named captain for the 2013-14 season, a testament to the type of person and leader he is in a dressing room.

Boston arrived in Edmonton on Wednesday, which gave them a chance to meet up with their old teammate. On Thursday night, though, it will be all business for all parties involved. The Bruins come in having won the first two games of a four-game road trip and their last three overall. Despite a seemingly overwhelming amount of injuries, Boston has maintained its position as one of the best teams in the league. The B’s will wake up Thursday in first place in both the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference, no small feat given the rash of injuries they’ve had to overcome. That won’t magically fix itself before Thursday, as Loui Eriksson, Chris Kelly, Dougie Hamilton and Daniel Paille are all out. Adam McQuaid is still up in the air. Shawn Thornton is still suspended. There’s a chance the Bruins are without all of them Thursday.

The story remains the same with the Oilers. They have plenty of talent and potential, especially up front, but wins are still difficult to come by for Dallas Eakins’ bunch in his first year behind the Edmonton bench. Edmonton’s 11 wins are tied for the fewest in the Western Conference, and only the New York Islanders have allowed more goals this season that the Oilers.

“Doesn’t matter if it’s Chicago or it’s Buffalo, every night is a tough night,” Eakins recently said, according to the Edmonton Journal. “I think you could easily go through an entire season of win, loss, win, loss or you win every game by a goal or you lose every game by a goal.

“We’d like to get to a spot where we’re competitive every night, and I thought we let one get away against Calgary [on Dec. 7]. We out-chanced them, had more shots directed at their net, and everything seemed in our favor, but we let them off the hook.”

The Bruins would obviously love to add to the Oilers’ misery on Thursday. They may, however, have to do so with their backup goalie. The flu bug is also making its way through the Bruins room, and it felled Tuukka Rask on Wednesday. The goalie missed practice Wednesday, so it may make sense to give the start to Chad Johnson and come back with Rask on Saturday in Vancouver. That’s all speculation, though.

We’ll keep you updated throughout the day all leading up to puck drop at 9:30 p.m. ET at Rexall Place in Edmonton.

Yardbarker

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