The Boston Bruins are playing like Stanley Cup champions again.
Brad Marchand scored twice and Tyler Seguin had a goal and an assist as the Bruins increased their season-high winning streak to four with a 6-3 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
Boston (7-7) has scored 24 goals during the streak and is back at .500 for the first time since a 1-1 start.
”We didn’t seem to have the same determination in our game,” said Marchand, who doubled his season goal total by scoring in the second and third periods. ”Right now it just seems like everyone’s buying into the system and what we have to do. Because we’re working a little harder, we’re getting some bounces, as well.”
Joe Corvo had three assists, and backup goalie Tuukka Rask won in his second straight start, getting a lot of help from his teammates in front of him.
”Scoring six goals gives your team a good chance to win,” said Rask, who made 27 saves. ”It’s a good thing to see us scoring goals because everybody was talking about it earlier in the season, and you can’t take it for granted.”
The Bruins opened the game by outshooting Edmonton 10-3 and controlled most of the first two periods. Edmonton came on in the third, and Ryan Smyth’s second goal of the game cut Boston’s lead to 4-3 with 4:42 left. But Milan Lucic and Marchand scored 34 seconds apart to seal the victory for the Bruins.
”We’ve started to build that confidence. We are playing better as a five-man unit and supporting each other all over the ice,” said Lucic, who has scored in five straight games. ”We’ve learned a lot from the things we have gone through in the past and we don’t get down anymore.”
Ales Hemsky had two assists for Edmonton, which called its timeout after falling behind 2-0 on goals by Johnny Boychuk and Jordan Caron. The Oilers responded with goals from Smyth and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins 29 seconds apart to tie it, but Edmonton’s speed couldn’t overcome Boston’s physical play in the second period.
”Maybe we sat back and gave them too much respect off the start,” Smyth said. ”We can respect them, but we can’t fear them. After the timeout, we showed some character but it’s difficult to play catch-up against the Stanley Cup champs.”
Devan Dubnyk stopped 22 shots for Edmonton, which had won seven of eight.
The Bruins took a 4-2 lead with two quick goals in the second. Marchand tipped in Corvo’s wrist shot from the blue line for a power-play goal at 3:50, and Seguin tapped in his own rebound at 6:24.
Seguin led the rush and got the puck on net. Dubnyk couldn’t handle it, and defenseman Tom Gilbert tried to keep it from crossing the goal line. But his sweep attempt gave the puck right back to Seguin in the slot, and he scored his ninth goal of the season.
Boston coach Claude Julien said he felt Rask played well in consecutive wins over the Islanders and Oilers, but Vezina and Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas will most likely be back in goal for the Bruins when they host Buffalo on Saturday.
”We’ve got a lot of games coming up and I wanted to get him an opportunity to get closer to being at the best he can be,” Julien said. ”One way we felt we could do that was giving him consecutive games.”
Notes: Boston is 4-0 in November. … Lucic has scored in seven of eight. … The Oilers haven’t won in Boston since 1996. … The Bruins have scored two goals in less than a minute eight times this season. … Edmonton (9-4-2) had a chance to tie Dallas for the most points in the NHL, but remained behind the idle Stars (22) and Pittsburgh Penguins (21) with 20.