Edmonton Oilers at Boston Bruins
Where: TD Garden, Boston
BOSTON – After starting the season with a miserable effort, the Boston Bruins have rebounded in fine fashion and will go for their third consecutive victory against the visiting Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. Boston was hammered at defending Stanley Cup champion Washington 7-0 in the season opener but has bounced back to score 10 goals in back-to-back wins.
Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and David Pastrnak erupted for 11 points in Monday’s 6-3 rout of Ottawa in their home opener, but the Bruins are well aware that they cannot be as reliant on their No. 1 unit as they were last season. “Obviously when the first line is doing their thing it’s easier to get away with it, but in saying that we’d like to get on the board just as much as everybody else would like us to,” second-line forward Jake DeBrusk said. The Oilers have not played since a season-opening loss to New Jersey on Saturday in Sweden but they are trying to work out the kinks while practicing in Boston this week. “We’ve got some work to do,” coach Todd McLellan said earlier this week. “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.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TVAS, Sportsnet Oilers (Edmonton), NESN (Boston)
ABOUT THE OILERS (0-1-0): Ex-Boston forward Milan Lucic managed only 10 goals and 34 points last season, but he scored once and set up another in the 5-2 loss to the Devils. “He was physical, he was making plays, he scored, he set up a nice goal,” McLellan said. “If we’re evaluating individuals, he would get a pretty good check mark from the group. There weren’t many positives, but Milan was one of them.” Leon Draisaitl, who matched Lucic with a goal and an assist in the opener, has two goals and six points in seven games versus Boston.
ABOUT THE BRUINS (2-1-0): Bergeron missed the preseason due to an ailing back, but he already has six points after recording his fourth career hat trick in the win over Ottawa. “He’s not out there just cherry-picking and finding the easy ones,” teammate David Backes said. “He works for every inch he gets, he’s doing all the ugly stuff along with scoring the goals, and you can’t be happier for a guy who’s able to play a 200-foot game and is responsible defensively.” Defenseman Charlie McAvoy collected a career-best three assists Monday.
1. Oilers captain Connor McDavid, who set up two goals Saturday, has seven assists in four games against Boston.
2. Marchand, who has seven assists in his last two, has score five goals and set up five others in 12 games versus Edmonton.
3. Oilers G Cam Talbot is 5-2 with a 2.72 goals-against average versus the Bruins.