Bruins blank Oilers 2-0
|Edmonton's Tom Gilbert and Boston's Brad Marchand battle for the puck Saturday afternoon. The Bruins shutout the Oilers 2-0. (Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
by Jen Sharpe | edmontonoilers.com
The Oilers and Bruins played 50 minutes of physical yet scoreless hockey in Boston Halloween Day, but in the final 10 minutes, the hometown team posted two goals to secure a 2-0 shutout.
Blake Wheeler and Vladimir Sobotka took turns assisting eachother on both goals, while goalie Tuukka Rask stopped 19 shots to earn his second career shutout and deal the Oil their third shutout loss in the past four games.
The Oilers and Bruins embarked on a long and physical stretch of back-and-forth action to start the game, but goalies Nikolai Khabibulin
and Tuukka Rask turned each attempt to keep both clubs battling for the opening goal.
After 20 minutes, the goose-eggs remained intact and Boston carried their 7-5 shot lead into the second period.
The Oilers came out strong in the middle frame, but a few minutes in rookie Theo Peckham
took a tripping minor and the Bruins took the reins on the man-advantage. But with help from his penalty killers, Khabibulin deflected both powerplay attempts and the scoreless game continued.
Boston went on the offensive after the penalty for the rest of the period, culminating in a flurry of chances in the final minute. Although Vladimir Sobotka eventually tucked the puck under Khabibulin's crossbar, the buzzer had already sounded and the goal stayed off the clock.
As a result, the Bruins would begin the third period with a16-12 shot advantage but still stuck in a scoreless stalemate.
Three minutes into the third, Boston's persistence paid off. In the midst of a battle behind Khabibulin's net, Sobotka fired the puck out front, and Blake Wheeler snapped it into the net to notch the first goal of the game.
Just over four minutes later, the roles were reversed but the result was the same. While sweeping in on Khabibulin, Sobotka completed a give-and-go with Wheeler that concluded in a tip-in and two-goal lead for the Bruins.
In the latter half of the period, consecutive Boston penalties gave Edmonton's powerplay unit the chance to narrow the gap. But the visitors were held shotless through the first man-advantage and were called for too many men midway through the second.
The Oilers pulled Khabibulin in the final minute of regulation and the six skaters swarmed the Bruins. Despite a pair of excellent scoring chances -- including a shot by Dustin Penner
that launched Rask's helmet off his head -- the goalie stood strong and dealt the Oilers their third shutout in four games.
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