BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Oilers with the two teams locked in a scoreless tie after the first 20 minutes of Andrew Ference’s return to TD Garden.
1) Dominant period for the Bruins, who outshot the Oilers by a 9-2 margin and had a handful of scoring chances without breaking through. This new strategy from Edmonton of allowing a zillion shots against Ben Scrivens while hoping he’ll stop them all seems to be fairly effective. No score after one period with Edmonton gaining a little hope they can stick around in this one.
2) Shawn Thornton and Luke Gazdic drop the gloves in a carryover from the road game in Edmonton when No. 22 was serving his suspension, and Gazdic essentially forced Milan Lucic into a fight. The fight was over quickly, but both combatants had to head back to the dressing room. Thornton looked like he was leaking blood underneath the lip after catching a hard right hand at the end of the fight, and Gazdic went right to the dressing room with a sweater that was all torn apart.
3) A great video tribute and ovation for Andrew Ference during a stoppage in play in the first period where No. 21 gave a wave to the crowd, and the standing ovation continued long after he was finished. Ference looked a little nervous in his first road game at TD Garden in nearly eight years, but that’s to be expected given the emotion going into this one.
4) Three hits and two blocked shots for Mark Fraser, who has immediately brought some grittiness and toughness to the Edmonton blue line that was sorely underserved in those departments.
5) A couple of missed chances for Loui Eriksson in that first period on chances around the net. The Bruins look like they’ll get whatever they want offensively against Edmonton with plenty of room to operate, but they need to finish off some of those plays.
BOSTON – Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins leading the Oilers by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of action in Andrew Ference’s return to TD Garden.
1) Both Kevan Miller and Shawn Thornton missed shifts in the first period, and Shawn Thornton didn’t skate another shift after getting his lower lip busted open by Dan Gazdic. But both players were out for the second period, and looked no worse for the wear.
2) Bruins finally cashed in on a perfect power play in the second period with a number of chances getting turned away by Ben Scrivens, but David Krejci finally beat the Edmonton goalie with a deflected point shot that bounced off the stick of Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for is 12th goal of the season. The quick passing and movement without the puck on that PP possession was as good as it gets for that top Black and Gold unit.
3) It could have been a 2-0 lead for the Bruins on a nice play by Matt Bartkowski walking down the left side with the puck before feeding Loui Eriksson in front, but it was disallowed as a kicked in goal. It didn’t appear to be a “distinct kicking motion”, but was instead an angling of the skate blade by the Swedish winger before the puck went through the five hole. But they ruled it a distinct kicking motion. I can see why the Bruins would have a problem with that call, and the rule really needs to be revisited by the league.
4) Four shots for Taylor Hall in 12:04 and he’s been among Edmonton’s best players, but the Oilers are being outshot by a 22-12 margin right now. Just not enough oomph from them at this point.
5) A couple of hits for Andrew Ference in 13:47 of ice time as he’s looked a little nervous at points in this first game against the Bruins. Nobody would fault him for feeling that way.