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3 Takeaways from Oilers’ Come-From-Behind Win Over Bruins

The Edmonton Oilers pulled off some late game heroics to escape Thursday with a 2-1 overtime win against the Boston Bruins.

The Edmonton Oilers’ four-game winning streak appeared to be in jeopardy, but they were able to score late and go on to beat the Boston Bruins by a 2-1 overtime final. This game was one that coaches dream of, while fans were sitting around praying for the floodgates to open.

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The Oilers found themselves down 1-0 early in the third, and that score remained intact until Leon Draisaitl buried one with less than two minutes remaining to even things up. In overtime, it was Draisaitl again, scoring off a one-timer on a great pass from Connor McDavid to win the game.

With the win, the Oilers now sit five points ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights for second place in the Pacific Division. They also hold two games in hand. What appeared to be a disappointing night for the Oilers is instead another two points in the standings, which is huge as they continue to try and track down the Vancouver Canucks. Here are the three main takeaways from this tight-checking affair.

Nugent-Hopkins the Unsung Hero

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins may not have had a point in this game, but he was the main factor in why the Oilers picked up two points. The Bruins appeared to have this game iced late in the third period, as Danton Heinen came over the Oilers’ blue line with an empty net ahead of him. His shot wound up going wide; however, as Nugent-Hopkins got back with a heroic effort to get a stick on it.

Oilers fans saw a very similar maximum-effort play from Nugent-Hopkins three games prior, as he lifted the stick of St. Louis Blues forward Robert Thomas who was in alone on Skinner in what was a tied game. Those types of efforts are a big part of what has made the 30-year-old a fan favourite in Edmonton.

Skinner Holds Down the Fort

Despite neither goalie being forced to make a ton of great saves, Stuart Skinner did his part to keep the Oilers in this game while they were failing to solve Ullmark. Aside from challenging too far out of his crease on an odd-man rush which led to a goal on a one-timer off the stick of Pavel Zacha, he was all Oilers fans could have asked for in this one.

A big part of what makes Skinner a good goalie is the fact he is able to move past mistakes in quick fashion. While it was evident based on his reaction that he didn’t like the goal he gave up to Zacha, he quickly erased it from his memory and held down the fort the rest of the way. He finished the night having stopped 25 of the 26 shots he faced for a .962 save percentage (SV%) and now has 28 wins on the season.

McDavid Point Streak Hits 12

Though he was quiet for long stretches of this game, McDavid showed up when it mattered most and finished with two assists on the night. In doing so, he has extended his point streak to 12 games, during which time he has racked up two goals and 28 points.

McDavid is now just one point shy of what will be his seventh 100-point season, as he is up to 23 goals and 76 points through 58 games. He is also just 24 assists shy of the 100-assist mark, something only Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Bobby Orr have ever done. With 22 games remaining on the Oilers’ schedule, it certainly isn’t out of the question that he gets there.

Looking Ahead for the Oilers

The Oilers have three more games this week, the first of which will come on Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. They’ll have another off day on Friday before a back-to-back set against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, both of which are in the afternoon. There are no such things as easy games in the NHL, but the upcoming schedule for the Oilers should do wonders in their quest to close the gap on the Canucks.

Next: Golden Knights Acquire Anthony Mantha in Trade from Capitals

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