The Oilers host the Wild on Friday night. Game time is 7:00 p.m. MST and it can be seen in Sportsnet Oilers or heard on 630 CHED and the Oilers Radio Network.
EDMONTON, AB – Defenceman Martin Marincin scored in the 12th round of the shootout, on his 23rd birthday, to lift the Oilers to a 4-3 win over Boston, snapping a 13-game losing streak to the Bruins.
The Oilers were looking for a fast start in their first game coming off a long road trip, and they got it.
“We addressed it in the meeting and we talked about how I’ve been on teams and coached teams where that first game back, you come out like gangbusters or you lay an egg,” Oilers Interim Coach Todd Nelson said. “I asked which team we were going to be tonight. The first five minutes is critical tonight. We want to make sure we get everybody into it and get them moving their feet. I thought the guys did a really good job with that.”
Towards the end of a great shift by the line of Ryan Hamilton, Derek Roy and Nail Yakupov, the Oilers took a 1-0 lead at 4:29 of the first period. Roy circled behind the Bruins net and fed Yakupov in the slot and he made no mistake, firing a shot past Tuukka Rask. Yakupov’s goal was the fourth in his last six games and secured his sixth straight with a point, tying a career-high streak he set back in 2013. Oscar Klefbom recorded a second assist on the goal.
“Yeah, that was great work down low and Roysy did a pretty good job to keep the puck low and I had to get open and put the puck in. That’s what I did,” Yakupov said.
Oilers forward Matt Hendricks and Boston’s Gregory Campbell dropped the gloves and fought shortly after that goal.
With under six minutes to play in the period, Jeff Petry levelled Brad Marchand with a big hit in the offensive zone. After that collision, the play went the other way and Boston’s Daniel Paille would get caught tripping Iiro Pakarinen, giving the Oilers their first power play of the game.
The Oilers, feeding off the energy of the game and the crowd, scored quickly with the man advantage. Jordan Eberle passed the puck to Teddy Purcell, who fed Ryan Nugent-Hopkins on the back side. The Oilers centre potted his 16th goal of the season, his first on the power play, for the 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Oilers, the Bruins got a power play of their own at 18:09 of the first. Andrew Ference went to the sin bin for tripping and Boston drew within one. Loui Eriksson tipped in a shot from Dougie Hamilton with 19.1 seconds left in the opening frame. Torey Krug added an assist.
The Oilers had struggled on the power play all season, but not of late. With Marchand in the box for slashing, Edmonton took a 3-1 lead. Purcell fired a shot from the high slot past Rask at 9:00 of the second period. He was assisted by Jordan Eberle. That goal was the Oilers seventh on their last 17 power plays (41.2%). They’d finish the game two for four (seven of their last 19).
Reilly Smith drew Boston back within one at 14:07 of the middle frame. Smith put home a rebound in the face of Ben Scrivens to make it a 3-2 game. Marchand set up the play and Dennis Seidenberg earned a helper as well.
Zdeno Chara hammered a shot through traffic from the point and David Pastrnak got a piece of it to tie the game at 15:52 of the second. Hamilton tallied the second assist.
“I thought we played well in the second but Boston had a couple of really good offensive zone shifts and capitalized on their shots,” Nelson said. “Then in the third period we had a few chances and they had theirs but Benny Scrivens was outstanding.”
Just over halfway through the third period, Scrivens made a huge save in close to keep it tied at 3-3. Scrivens made several big saves, finishing with 38 on 41 shots.
The Oilers red hot power play got another opportunity when Patrice Bergeron got called for high-sticking at 12:05 of the final period. For the first time all night the Oilers power play expired without a score.
Seidenberg went to the box for hooking shortly after that penalty expired, giving the Oilers another crack at the lead. Although Yakupov unleashed a nice one-timer, that man advantage fell short as well.
Milan Lucic took a bad bounce for the Oilers right out in front of Scrivens and roofed it over the net with seconds remaining in the game. With both teams unable to convert, the game went to overtime.
Scrivens was active in overtime, making six saves. His effort and missed opportunities from the Bruins helped send it to a shootout.
Martin Marincin was the hero, on his birthday, slipping the puck through the legs of Rask and lifting the Oilers to victory. That shot came in the 12th round of a wild shootout filled with saves and narrow misses, including Chris Kelly hitting the post for Boston in the 11th round.
“I feel great for that," Marincin said. "That was my first NHL goal and today is my birthday, so that’s great. But we played really good, the whole team. That was a great win for my birthday too, so I’m so happy.”
Nelson was getting down to some unknowns in the skills competition, and was deciding between Oscar Klefbom and Marincin. Nelson says he looked at Marincin and asked, “do you got this?”
Marincin calmly replied, “yes, I do.”
The trust paid off. After using 24 players in the shootout last season in Oklahoma City with the Barons (none of them Marincin), Nelson was rewarded by giving Marincin his chance.