BOSTON — Managing just two goals on nearly 50 shots is never an outcome a team hopes for. Nor is going an entire game without holding a lead. Losing to a goaltender who hadn’t won a game in close to two months? Not ideal, either.
But despite failing to earn two points from their Monday night meeting with the Edmonton Oilers, the Bruins left TD Garden feeling more encouraged by their effort than disheartened by the final result.
“There was no frustration at all (Monday night),” head coach Claude Julien said after an Andrej Sekera goal 41 seconds into overtime dealt Boston a 3-2 loss.
“I think it was disappointing that we fell behind 2-0 early when in the first 10 minutes, I think it was seven to one shots on net. I think we were the dominant team, and I think the biggest thing was that they got a couple of good breaks and took advantage of those. And we had to fight back, but their goaltender (Cam Talbot) stood tall, and we just kept going after them and found a way to get ourselves back into the game and get ourselves at least a point.
“But there was no frustration throughout the whole game. Just determination.”
The Bruins, who earlier this season displayed a tendency to run out of gas after strong starts, this time delivered an emphatic response after Edmonton grabbed a two-goal lead in the opening 14 minutes.
Julien’s squad thoroughly dominated the second period. The Bruins outshot the Oilers 18-3, held them without a shot on goal for the first 16:39 of the frame and went more than 12 minutes without allowing even a shot attempt.
The deluge of pucks sent Talbot’s way produced Boston’s first goal: a Matt Beleskey effort that brought the Bruins to within one.
“I think that’s definitely an improvement,” center Patrice Bergeron said. “After those two quick goals, earlier in the year I think we would have probably caved in, and we definitely stayed with it. It was a bad eight, nine minutes for us at first, but we stayed calm, we stayed with it, and we got back in the second and third and played a really good game.”
The Bruins added another 20 shots in the third period — and one more goal, Brad Marchand’s 15th of the season — to finish with a season-high 49 for the game. Had it not been for the performance of a lifetime from the Oilers netminder, who shattered his previous career high by stopping 47 shots in the win, overtime might not have even been necessary.
It was, and the night ultimately ended with Edmonton earning its sixth consecutive victory. But the Bruins still were able to earn a point from the contest — the 11th time in 12 games they have done so — and a win Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins could vault them to as high as second in the Atlantic Division.
“I think we’re having good momentum right now,” forward Max Talbot told reporters. “Guys are feeling pretty confident, and the goalies are playing solid. I think as a team, we’re playing some good hockey. We’re getting points. We’re slowly moving up the standings, and that’s our goal, for sure.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Bruins center David Krejci (46) congratulates left wing Matt Beleskey.
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