The Bruins opted against starting Malcolm Subban Wednesday night, further underscoring the importance placed on getting two points against the second-worst team in the NHL.
They still lost.
After coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the second period, the Bruins held even with the Oilers through the third period and overtime before losing in a 12-round shootout that saw Boston fail to score once. Tuukka Rask finally surrendered the shootout’s only goal to Martin Marincin on the 24th overall attempt.
The loss was Boston’s fifth straight (0-3-2) and sixth in the last seven (1-4-2). The Bruins have two more games on their current road trip, as they’ll play the Blues Friday and the Blackhawks Sunday. Rask has now played in 24 of the Bruins’ last 25 games, so the Bruins, entering must-win mode each night, may face more tough decisions regarding whether to risk burning out their best player.
Here are four more things we learned Wednesday night:
REVAMPED POWER PLAY SCORES
Claude Julien hasn’t been afraid to tinker with his forward lines, and on Wednesday that extended to the power play.
When Andrew Ference went off for tripping Brad Marchand late in the first period, Julien sent out a unit that featured Dougie Hamilton and Torey Krug at the points, with David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron up front and Loui Eriksson in front of the net. The group stayed out there for all 91 seconds of the power play until Eriksson tipped a Hamilton shot past Ben Scrivens. The goal was the group’s sixth shot on goal of the power play.
YOUR NIGHTLY RIGHT WING CHANGE UPDATE
Claude Julien went with a short bench early on by giving the fourth line only three shifts, but that wasn’t the only thing he did with his lines. For seemingly the billionth time this season, Julien mixed up his top-nine right wings in-game.
The top three lines began as such:
With Julien’s changes in the second period, they were as such:
The moves paid off, as Smith scored after returning to his usual linemates and Pastrnak netted his second goal in the last five games. Smith’s goal, which came off a rebound of a Brad Marchand shot, was just his second goal in the last 20 games.
PENALTY KILL STRUGGLES EARLY, HOLDS UP LATE
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins scored on a first-period power play and Teddy Purcell scored while Brad Marchand served a slashing penalty in the second period. Factoring in Jiri Hudler’s second third-period goal from Monday, Purcell’s goal made it three straight penalty kills for the Bruins in which they allowed a goal.
The B’s were more effective on the PK late in the game, when they had to kill off a pair of penalties to Patrice Bergeron and Dennis Seidenberg, respectively, with less than 10 minutes to play and did so successfully.
BRUINS ALLOW FIRST GOAL AGAIN
With Nail Yakupov’s first-period goal, the Bruins allowed the game’s first goal for the sixth time in their last seven contests. The B’s are 1-4-2 in that span.