(Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

By: Jason Cooke | Follow me on Twitter / X @cookejournalism

The Edmonton Oilers saved their best for last. After Pavel Zacha broke the ice at 4:26 of the third frame to give the Bruins a commanding 1-0 lead, the Boston Bruins were minutes away from silencing one of the National Hockey League’s most potent offenses. Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl were held pointless for the entirety of the game—until Draisaitl turned on another gear.

Draisaitl lit the lamp with 1:20 remaining before connecting with McDavid for his overtime winner to shock the TD Garden crowd on Tuesday night, escaping Boston unscathed with a 2-1 win. While the Bruins put forth a solid 200-foot game for three periods, they couldn’t find a way to get through Edmonton’s lethal push.

“We’ve got to find a way to push through,” said Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery. “We didn’t find a way. “We played a real good game, we’re on a back-to-back and Edmonton is not.”

It was an unexpected outcome on Causeway Street. The last time the Boston clashed with the Edmonton, the two high-octane offenses shined in a 6-5 slugfest. When the Oilers arrived in Boston for a rematch roughly two weeks later, a similar result appeared to be in store: a high-scoring, star-driven shootout. It turned out to be the complete opposite–an offensive showcase in Edmonton two weeks ago was a goaltender’s dual in Boston on Tuesday night. Ultimately, Stuart Skinner was the victor, making 25 saves for the win. But that’s not to say Linus Ullmark didn’t come to play.

“I thought Linus was great,” said Montgomery. “He was awesome. Last two nights, our goals are stellar, and that’s what they’ve been for us. They’ve been really good.”

Ullmark was diving around his crease all night, flashing the leather against McDavid and Draisaitl several times to keep Edmonton’s iron off the board. Ullmark made 24 saves between the pipes, but Draisaitl beat him twice down the stretch, first whacking in a bouncing puck to knot the game in the third before a sizzling one-timer from McDavid sealed the deal, who leads the NHL with a whopping 76 assists.

“I thought we played a good game,” said Ullmark. “We came out on a back-to-back against two of the best offensive teams in the league offensively and shut them down for the most part. I’m proud of the fellas for doing that.”

Before Draisaitl’s two-goal spirt, it looked like Zacha’s third-period tally would be enough for Boston to come out with two points. A quick up from Parker Wotherspoon found the stick of Danton Heinen, firing a pass to Zacha for the one-timer. After an 11-game scoring drought, Zacha has scored three times in his last two games.

“I think he’s looking to shoot more,” said Montgomery. “It’s funny, he had a little bit of an injury there, and he’s come back from the injury, and he’s simplified his game.”

Zacha’s goal was almost enough. With the goalie pulled in the final two minutes in regulation, the Oilers lost control of the puck, squirting free to a streaking Heinen, who Ryan Nugent-Hopkins chased down. Charlie Coyle even involved himself in the scrum in the corner, but the Oilers outnumbered the Bruins to turn around and pot the game-tying goal.

The game will still be special for Boston’s James van Riemsdyk, who skated in his 1,000th NHL game on Tuesday. After stints between the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs for the first 14 years of his career, the seasoned forward was brought to Boston as a free agent last summer. He’s been a pleasant surprise for the Bruins this season, posting 11-27-38 in 60 games. After the conclusion of his first shift on Tuesday, Van Riemsdyk was honored with a standing ovation.

“That was really special,” he said. “When I got the opportunity to get a chance to join the group here and join the team, it was something I was super excited about. The passion of the fans, you could always feel that over the years for the Bruins and that was something that was always super exciting, and it’s nice to be on the right side of that too.”

The Bruins continue their four-game homestand with the Maple Leafs on Thursday for a 7:00 p.m. puck drop.