March 30, 2023

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McDavid scores 50th, but the Oilers lose to the best team in the league

McDavid scores 50th, but the Oilers lose to the best team in the league

ESPN News Services3 minutes to read

EDMONTON, Alberta — Connor McDavid scored twice to reach the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career, but even the game’s MVP couldn’t derail the best team in the league as the Boston Bruins edged past the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2 Monday night.

Pavel Zacha scored the tie-breaker late in the second period and the Bruins showed off their depth, skating for their seventh straight win.

Nick Foligno and Thomas Nozick also scored for the Bruins, and Dmitry Orlov assisted on two touchdowns for his first two points since being acquired from Washington last week. Jeremy Swaiman stopped 22 shots to make his third consecutive start and eighth in the last 10.

We have six or seven [defensemen] They can really play hockey, and then we have four lines that can really play hockey,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said in his post-game interview on NESN.

For all of McDavid’s heroism, Edmonton has now lost two straight goals in regulation after five consecutive points (2-0-3). Stuart Skinner had 25 saves in the loss.

“It’s obviously disappointing,” McDavid said. “They are the best team in the league and I think we played them hard and gave ourselves a chance to win.”

Zacha gave the Bruins their second lead of the night with 30 seconds left in the first half. David Pastrnak launched a left hole shot that caught the skates of Oilers defenseman Cody Ceci and fell slowly towards the left side of the goal. When Skinner reached the puck to one side, Zaka bunted the ball on his 14th of the season to make it 3-2.

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“We were speed skating and proud in the three regions,” Swaiman said in an interview with NESN. “It was making my job easy, so it was really fun to be a part of this win. It was definitely something special.”

McDavid had the score tied at 2-2 with 7:40 left in the second with his 50th. Klim Kostin skated down the right side and chased a long dump behind the goal line, came back around the back of the net and sent a pass up front to McDavid. The Oilers’ captain faked to get Swaiman to get off, went to his left and put him in.

“We had a couple of appearances and we didn’t take advantage…against a team that wouldn’t give up much,” said McDavid.

McDavid, whose previous career high was 44 last season, got the Oilers on the scoreboard first, 2:17 into the game, as he skated the left circle and beat Swaiman by five holes.

Nosek tied the game just 13 seconds later when he caught a pass up front from Garnet Hathaway — who came from the Capitals with Orloff last Thursday — and sent the puck into the top right corner for his fourth.

Foligno gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead with 4:54 left in the middle period as he caught a pass return from Charlie Coyle on a 2-on-1 rush and fumbled Skinner past a blocker from the left side. It was his tenth.

Orloff caught two assists on each of the Bruins’ first two goals.

Prior to the game, Montgomery told reporters that forward Taylor Hall sustained a lower body injury and would not continue on the team’s road trip.

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“Just a precaution,” said the coach. “I don’t think it’s anything serious. But with the games in a row, we didn’t see him play so we brought him back.”

Boston will continue its Wild West trip on Tuesday, as they play the Calgary Flames.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.