EDMONTON, Alberta — Connor McDavid scored twice to reach the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career, but even the game’s best player couldn’t derail the league’s best team, as the Boston Bruins outlasted the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2, on Monday night.
Pavel Zacha scored the tiebreaking goal late in the second period and the Bruins flexed their depth, skating to their seventh straight win.
Nick Foligno and Tomas Nosek also scored for the Bruins, and Dmitry Orlov had two assists for his first points since being acquired from Washington last week. Jeremy Swayman stopped 22 shots to win his third straight start and eighth in his last 10.
“We’ve got six or seven [defensemen] that can really play hockey, and then we’ve got four lines that can really play hockey,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said in his postgame interview on NESN.
Despite all of McDavid’s heroics, Edmonton has now lost two straight in regulation after a five-game point streak (2-0-3). Stuart Skinner had 25 saves in the loss.
“Disappointing, obviously,” McDavid said. “They are the best team in the league, and I thought we played them hard and gave ourselves a chance to win.”
🔥 Mc50 UNLOCKED 🔥 pic.twitter.com/zzOG1wR6ZL
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) February 28, 2023
Zacha gave the Bruins their second lead of the night with 30 seconds left in the middle period. David Pastrnak fired a shot from the left slot that hit Oilers defenseman Cody Ceci‘s skates and slowly trickled toward the left side of the goal. As Skinner reached to knock the puck aside, Zacha dove and swatted the puck up and in for his 14th of the season to make it 3-2.
“We were skating fast, and taking pride in all three zones,” Swayman said in his postgame NESN interview. “It was making my job easy, so it’s just really fun to be part of that win. That was a special one for sure.”
McDavid had tied it 2-2 with 7:40 left in the second with his 50th. Klim Kostin skated down the right side and chased down a long dump in behind the goal line, came around the back of the net and sent a centering pass in front to McDavid. The Oilers’ captain faked to get Swayman to go down, went to his left and put it in.
“We had a couple of looks, and we didn’t capitalize … against a team that doesn’t give up much,” McDavid said.
McDavid, whose previous career high was 44 goals last season, got the Oilers on the scoreboard first, 2:17 into the game, as he skated in the left circle and beat Swayman five-hole.
Nosek tied it just 13 seconds later as he got a pass in front from Garnet Hathaway — who came over from the Capitals with Orlov 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 got the return pass from Charlie Coyle on a 2-on-1 rush and beat Skinner past his blocker from the left side. It was his 10th.
Orlov had secondary assists on each of the Bruins’ first two goals.
Before the game, Montgomery told reporters that forward Taylor Hall had a lower-body injury and would not continue on with the team’s road trip.
“Just precautionary,” the coach said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious. But with back-to-back games, we didn’t see him playing so we sent him back.”
Boston will continue its western road trip Tuesday, taking on the Calgary Flames.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.