Ryan Strome's goal early in the third period the difference in 4-2 Oilers win at Boston
BOSTON, MA --Adam Larsson, Leon Draisaitl, Patrick Maroon and Ryan Strome, who broke a 2-2 deadlock early in the third period, tallied for the Oilers as they ended a five-game road trip with a solid 4-2 win over the Boston Bruins at TD Garden on Sunday afternoon.
Heading into the third period, the game was tied 2-2 but the Oilers were by far the dominant team. Shots on goal were 15-3 in the middle frame and 28-10 Oilers after 40 minutes. Lucic said the team was just looking to sustain the way they played.
"We just wanted to stick with what we did the first two periods," Lucic began. "We did a really good job focusing on our game and what we needed to do to win. We weren't even really looking at the score going into the third, we were just focusing on playing a full 60 minutes because we knew we had a good first two periods and we wanted to follow up on that."
Just over two minutes into the third period, Strome corralled a feed from Draisaitl in the high slot and wired it high on Tuukka Rask to put the Oilers back in front 3-2.
"I've never really played with a centreman with that type of skill and ability. Obviously, Connor's got some great one-on-one skill but the way Leon sees the ice and makes plays is pretty special. Luckily we were able to convert on one there," said Strome.
Draisaitl added an empty-net goal with over 50 seconds to play to clinch the outcome. Final shot count was 36-25 for Edmonton. The German pivot, who had a goal and an assist, said he felt everyone on the team contributed to this win.
"If you have all four lines contributing, it helps immensely. We're a very hard team to beat if we play that way. We wanted to end this road trip on a good note," Draisaitl remarked. "I'm pretty good at evaluating myself and I haven't been good enough. I think today was a step in the right direction."
Head Coach Todd McLellan added that a key to Draisaitl's success in this game was the fact that he kept his feet moving.
"He skated tonight," McLellan said. "We had a chat before practice yesterday. A lot of times he just skates for Leon. Tonight he skated for his teammates and created open ice and did some things that were beneficial to his linemates, using his size and creating space. That was nice to see and we need him to continue."
Oilers started well in this game, rattling off the game's first six shots before Boston finally got one of their own near the midway point of the first period. The visitors even had significant zone time for most of the period, most notably the line of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Pat Maroon and Anton Slepyshev which had the Bruins pinned deep for almost a full minute.
With 7:16 to go in the first, McDavid took advantage of a fortunate bounce at the Bruins blueline and skated in alone on goaltender Tuukka Rask. Rask committed on the deke but McDavid couldn't get the shot away.
The first goal of the game went to the Bruins, however. With Michael Cammalleri in the box for hooking, Torey Krug skated the puck up ice then dished it to David Pastrnak who made a nice move to get around the Oilers defence before firing the puck in the right circle to open the scoring with a power play marker.
Edmonton was unable to convert on a power play of their own with five minutes to go in the first.
Shots on goal after 20 minutes were 10-6 for the Oilers.
Maroon made a slick behind-the-back pass to Nugent-Hopkins at the top of the crease 90 seconds into the middle frame. The Oilers centre released a shot quickly but Rask made a very nice stop to keep Edmonton off the board.
Oilers finally got on the board just before the game's midway point. Zack Kassian spotted Maroon at the left circle and he made no mistake, wiring a shot under the crossbar.
Five minutes later, Oilers moved in front for the first time when Adam Larsson's shot from the point hit a Bruins player in front before fooling Rask.
71 seconds after the go-ahead goal, Boston tied the game again. Riley Nash fed the puck across the slot to David Krejci who put the puck in.