Bruins-Oilers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 11, 2013
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins was seven the last time the Edmonton Oilers beat the Boston Bruins. The 20-year-old Oilers center will try to help end his team's 10-game skid against the Eastern Conference-leading Bruins on Thursday night in Edmonton. The Bruins' surge since early last month is hardly a surprise, but the Oilers' recent outstanding play has been unexpected. Boston (21-8-2) has gone 13-3-1 in its last 17 games, knocking off Calgary 2-1 on Tuesday. The Bruins trailed 1-0 entering the third before David Krejci and Reilly Smith scored as Boston outshot the Flames 15-5 in the final 20 minutes. "We just got back to playing Bruins hockey," Smith told the team's official website. "The first two periods, we got away from it. I think we were making too many hope plays, we weren't trying hard enough to turn the puck over and stick to our game plan. We got back to it in the third and I think that changed our game around." Boston has given up two or fewer goals 13 times in the past 17 contests. Smith has four points in three games while Krejci's goal gave him his ninth point in his last nine contests. He leads the team with 25 points. The win capped Jarome Iginla's return to Calgary, where he spend his first 15-plus seasons. The forward also has fond memories of Edmonton, where he's recorded seven points in his last four games. He has 82 career points against the Oilers, his highest total against any team. Tuukka Rask made 26 saves against the Flames for his 16th win. He's 3-0-0 with a 1.67 goals-against average in his career against Edmonton, though his availability for this game is uncertain as he missed practice Wednesday with the flu. After a woeful start, Edmonton (11-18-3) has gone 7-3-1 in its last 11, recording 40 goals in that span. Now it will look to stop an 0-7-3 skid against Boston that began after a 6-1 home victory Oct. 17, 2000. "We are working hard to get out of the hole we created for ourselves and it seems we are on a bit of a run now," said forward Taylor Hall, who has eight points in his last four games. "Now it is time to get two (wins) in a row." The Oilers are 2-1-1 on their five-game homestand after a 5-4 overtime victory over Carolina on Tuesday. Hall, Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Nail Yakupov each had a goal and an assist, with Eberle scoring the winner. The Oilers won despite blowing a 4-1 second-period lead. Despite the surge, they're still in last place in the West. "I don't expect people to be jumping up and down, if that's our record over the last little bit," coach Dallas Eakins told the team's official website. "The thing that we've done to ourselves is we've put ourselves in such a large hole that even when you are playing well over a stretch, everybody wakes up in the morning ... they look at the standings. "Even a game like tonight when you put two in the bank, the standings still have you where you're at and that's the hole we have to climb out of." Defenseman Jeff Petry could return from a one-game absence due to an upper-body injury. Edmonton defenseman Andrew Ference will face his former team for the first time after spending six-plus seasons in Boston. Ference signed a four-year contract with his hometown team in July.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Celtics could offer best deal for Dwight Howard

Hawks 'taking phone calls about everybody on the roster'

Philly mayor calls LeSean McCoy ‘cowardly'

Report: Price might not return this season due to knee injury

Matt Forte confirms he won’t be returning to Bears

Cardinals GM: ‘No doubt’ team wants Mathieu as fixture


Charles Barkley on Stephen Curry: ‘He’s just a great shooter’

Louisiana governor warns that LSU football could be cut

Report: People with Warriors think they will get Durant

Joe Thomas: It’s a ‘sad end’ to Manziel story in Cleveland

DeMar DeRozan: It will be ‘pretty tough’ for me to leave Raptors

Super Bowl referee says Cotchery play could have been a catch

Cam Newton sends message with ‘I win my way’ shirt

26% of Denver students skipped school for Broncos parade

Eight surprises, letdowns entering NBA All-Star break

Chris Harris: Von Miller should get paid more than JJ Watt

4 likeliest Dwight Howard trade scenarios

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Penn State the latest to offer generic football jerseys for sale

Gary Bettman praises the NHL’s new website and app (which are currently awful)

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

On Kobe Bryant and taking greatness for granted

Bucks need to choose between wins, development

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker