Oilers try to cool off Bruins’ offense
BOSTON — It is rather rare that a team spends several days in a city and then plays a hockey game on the fourth day.
But that is what the Edmonton Oilers have done this week.
After an eight-hour flight back from Sweden on Sunday following a 5-2 season-opening loss to the New Jersey Devils, the Oilers have been practicing in Boston in preparation for Thursday night’s game against the Bruins.
“The results weren’t what we wanted but the input and the process leads to results and we’re more concerned about that right now,” Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said Monday after his team practiced at the Bruins facility.
“We addressed some things here today in practice. I thought we had a good practice. We’ve got some work to do. We felt good coming out of the preseason. We gave a bit of it back in that first game but we’ll work here in Boston and get ready to play a good team.”
That good team was on a different ice surface in Boston on Monday, riding 11 points from Patrice Bergeron’s line to their second straight win — a 6-3 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
After getting blown out in their season opener at Washington, after the Capitals raised their Stanley Cup banner and Alex Ovechkin took one more spin around the ice with the Cup, the Bruins have scored 10 goals in wins at Buffalo and then at home against the Senators.
Bergeron missed the preseason with back spasms but has four goals and two assists in the last two games, the line posting 18 points in the two contests.
Asked if he will consider taking every preseason off so he can start like this, Bergeron said, “Probably not, after Washington’s game. But after the last two, maybe.”
As far as keeping himself sharp while not skating, he said, “there is a lot of mental parts of the game that you can still work on even though you’re not on the ice. So I tried to work on those as much as possible and other than that, I think relying on your experience from the past is something that is important as well.”
The Oilers have won each of their last three games in Boston and are 5-1 against the Bruins in their last six.
Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask, shelled from the opening loss in just 27 minutes, wasn’t great Monday but was good enough to win, despite allowing three goals and two shots hitting pipes. He brings a 4-3-2 lifetime record, a 2.83 goals-against average and only an .898 save percentage in nine games against the Oilers.
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, held out of practice Monday after getting banged up in Sweden and then went through the long flight, was back and expected to play Thursday night.
Talbot 5-2-0 with a 2.72 goals-against average and .922 save percentage lifetime against the Bruins.
The Bruins announced Wednesday that they are shifting Saturday night’s game against the Detroit Red Wings to 3 p.m., allowing Boston fans to be home in time to watch the Red Sox face Houston in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.