EDMONTON, Alberta -- — Matt Grzelcyk scored his first goal of the season in the final minutes of the third period, and the Boston Bruins snapped a two-game skid with a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night.
“We just started playing our game in the third and it took us a couple of periods to get going,” said Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco. “Our group knew that we hadn’t played our best hockey after two periods and they went out and played hockey.
“We felt like we were in a situation after two and we needed to keep playing, don’t sit back, stay on the attack and don’t be passive. It was a better third and it was a good response after they got their second goal.”
Leon Draisaitl had two goals for the Oilers, who dropped their fourth straight game.
“I think the last two games probably could have gone either way,” Draisaitl said. “I thought we were the better team tonight, but that’s the NHL. We’ve won games too where we got outplayed.
“That is the way it goes when you are slumping, you find a way to lose these kinds of games. We have to find a way to get out of it.”
The Bruins got the game’s first goal with 3:45 left in the first period as Patrice Bergeron sprung Marchand on a short-handed breakaway, and he made no mistake putting his 10th goal of the season past Oilers goalie Stuart Skinner.
Boston took a two-goal lead two minutes into the second period on the power play as DeBrusk was left alone in front and scored his fifth. Edmonton fans thought the Bruins should have been assessed a penalty on the play after a trip prevented the Oilers from clearing the zone.
Edmonton closed within a goal with just under two minutes to play in the middle period, taking advantage of a man advantage. Draisaitl sent a one-timer from a difficult angle that beat Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark on the short side.
The Oilers tied it with another power-play goal midway through the third as Draisaitl scored again from a sharp angle for his league-leading 23nd goal of the season. It was Draisaitl’s ninth two-goal game this season.
Boston got back in front with 2:33 left in the third after several chances and sustained pressure when Grzelcyk beat Skinner.
“I knew I had a lot of space so I tried to play with my head up and tried to hit the net first and foremost, and likely it found some daylight,” Grzelcyk said.
Edmonton outshot Boston 43-30.
“It always feels better when they come back from a 2-0 deficit and we score the game-winning goal late in the third,” Ullmark said.
The Oilers got a boost on defenSe as Cody Ceci returned to the lineup after a bout of COVID that kept him at home for the last four games. ... Remaining out with injuries for Edmonton were Mike Smith (lower body), Slater Koekkoek (lower body) and Duncan Keith (upper body). ... Missing for Boston were Tomas Nosek (illness) and Jakub Zboril (lower body). ... Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy remains in COVID-19 protocol, with Joe Sacco temporarily taking his place. ... Edmonton defensceman Kris Russell left the game in the second period with an apparent shoulder injury.
Bruins: At Calgary Flames on Saturday to complete a three-game trip.
Oilers: Host Carolina Hurricanes in the fourth game of a six-game homestand.