BOSTON - David Pastrnak scored his 31st goal of the season, but the Bruins' offense struggled to generate much more than that on Saturday afternoon during a 4-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden.
For the second consecutive game, Pastrnak opened the scoring with a first-period power-play tally and Boston went without a goal for the remainder of the contest, setting up the Oilers for four unanswered. Edmonton tied the game at 7:41 of the second, before striking for back-to-back goals at 19:53 of the middle frame and 1:48 of the third to open up a 3-1 lead.
"I don't think we attacked the net enough. Second period started to shift," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "They started transitioning better, getting their defense up the ice. So that was lack of O-zone possession time. I think they have some high-end skill that if you let them skate, let their [defense] join, they'll start turning the tide, and that's what they did.
"They got a fortunate goal to end the second, but they had a number of good looks before that where Jaroslav [Halak] had to be sharp. So, I think some of that's on us, just to be harder on pucks and play more in their end. It's that type of team."
The loss, the Bruins' third consecutive setback, was just their second in regulation at TD Garden this season (14-2-9) and snapped their nine-game point streak.
"I think we've got to stick with the game plan, trust what we have in here," said David Krejci. "The season is long. We knew we were going to go through some rough patches at some point this year and seems like we're there right now, so we've got to keep working at practices and just go back to little details.
"We've just got to believe in each other. We know we have a good team…we're just kind of in the middle of it now. Keep your head up, keep working hard, things will eventually turn the other way."
Video: BOS Recap: Pastrnak scores lone goal in 4-1 loss
Switching Things Up
Cassidy tried to jumpstart the Bruins' offense by switching up his line combinations, ending the game with Charlie Coyle alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand and Krejci between Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen. Unfortunately for the Black & Gold, the tweaks were not enough to get anything going up front.
"That's clearly a group of players that, it doesn't matter who they're with, we need to see a little bit more attack out of them," Cassidy said of Krejci, Coyle, and Jake DeBrusk, a trio that started Saturday's game together. "Some nights it goes in - you go through stretches…but I just think they've been too quiet for how good they are. And I don't have a great answer for what the reason is.
"It might just be a stretch of the season we look back and say, 'Hey, we're off.' Or it might be something a little more. But we pulled them apart today, we'll see how it looks going forward."
Krejci added that, ultimately, it comes down to the players executing on the ice no matter which combinations Cassidy puts out there.
"He knows the best, he's trying to get us going," said Krejci. "Sometimes it means that you've got to change the lines a little bit. He's done his part. It's up to us to feed off of it and create something, some energy, some good chances, have a good shift and the next line comes on, build on that and keep rolling. You do need it once in a while, the lines to change."
Overall, Boston has scored just 10 goals in its past five games.
"I don't think you can get frustrated. I think that's the last thing you want to do," said Bergeron. "It's a tough league. There are going to be times where things like that happen and it's about you rolling up your sleeves and getting to the net. I think there are a lot of fancy plays that we can get rid of in our game and go back to maybe funneling the puck and knowing we're going there.
"There were a lot of loose pucks that were there even tonight that we can find and maybe find some urgency to get them and bury down on those goals. It's not always going to be pretty and that's what we need to rely on right now."
Video: Bergeron And The B's Address Media After 4-1 Loss
Pasta Stays Hot
Pastrnak's goal was his 31st of the season and extended his personal point streak to 10 games with 5-10-15 totals in that span. More stats, courtesy of NHL PR and Bruins stats:
- It is the league's longest active point streak and makes him the only player in the NHL with multiple such streaks this season (13 games from Oct. 8-Nov. 5).
- It is also the third straight season that there has been a player record multiple point streaks of 10-plus games prior to their team's 45th contest. Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov did it twice in 2017-18 and 2018-19.
- Pastrnak has opened the scoring for Boston 12 times this season. The only player in team history to do it more in a single season is Phil Esposito (15 in 1973-74).
- Marchand assisted on Pastrnak's goal giving him 60 points (20 goals, 40 assists) on the season. They are the seventh set of Bruins teammates to each collect 60 points prior to their team's 45th game and first since Phil Esposito and Bobby Orr in 1974-75 (32 games).
- Pastrnak's goal gave Boston a power-play goal in 10 straight games, the B's longest stretch since 1996.
Video: EDM@BOS: Pastrnak nets PPG off defender in front