Bruins 3 Oilers 2
EDMONTON — Patience paid off for the Boston Bruins on Tuesday.
David Krejci scored the winner with just over a minute remaining as the Bruins rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers.
Noel Acciari and Matt Grzelcyk also scored for the Bruins (37-13-8), who have won seven of their last nine and remained one point back of Tampa Bay for both the Atlantic Division and the Eastern Conference leads. Boston trailed 2-0 before scoring three times in the third period.
“We have a will to win,” said Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy. “There are 82 of these and sometimes you just don’t have it, but I think our group is pretty good at pushing right to the end. It would have been easy for us to say it was our third game in four nights and we were playing back-to-back games, and maybe it is not our night after the frustration early on of not being able to finish and (Oilers goalie Cam Talbot) being really good, but we stuck with it.”
Bruins goalie Anton Khubodin agreed the key was not to get down after falling behind a team they felt they were outplaying.
“If you are thinking things aren’t going your way then they are never going to go your way,” he said. “You have to keep positive, keep playing and shooting and you are going to get rewarded. We were rewarded tonight.”
Ryan Strome and Jujhar Khaira responded for the Oilers (24-31-4), who have lost seven of their past eight games.
“At the end of the day, you’re here for wins and losses and it’s tough to take moral victories out of the game,” Strome said. “We know the position we’re in and that’s a disappointing result after 40 good minutes.”
The Oilers scored the game’s first goal with 1:31 remaining in the opening period — despite being outshot 13-2 to that point — when Strome beat Khubodin on a 2-on-1 break for his ninth of the season.
The Bruins came close five minutes into the second period when a David Pastrnak shot ripped off the post behind Edmonton goalie Cam Talbot, but instead the Oilers extended their lead just over six minutes later when a knuckler of a Khaira shot beat Khubodin up high.
The shots favoured the Bruins 29-14 through 40 minutes.
Boston got on the board 4:37 into the third when Acciari swung a puck in front of the Edmonton net and it bounced off Strome and in to make it 2-1.
The Bruins tied it up with eight minutes to play in the third period after a flurry in front of the Edmonton net led to Grzelcyk putting the puck past a diving Talbot.
Boston completed the comeback with just 1:04 remaining in the third, as the Oilers lost control of the puck in their own end. Danton Heinen sent the puck out in front to allow Krejci to score his 11th of the season.
The Oilers host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday, while the Bruins are off until Saturday, when they play the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
Notes: It was the second and final meeting this season between the two teams. The Oilers took the first game 4-2 in Boston on Nov. 26… Oilers defenceman Kris Russell played his 700th NHL game… The Bruins acquired defenceman Nick Holden from the New York Rangers earlier Tuesday for their third-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft and 24-year-old minor-league defenceman Rob O’Gara. Holden was not in Edmonton in time for the game.