Bruins drop third straight in 4-1 loss to Oilers

Jan 4, 2020; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (97) shoots the puck against the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com

The struggles continued for the Boston Bruins on Saturday afternoon, as Bruce Cassidy's team suffered its third straight loss behind a 4-1 final to the Edmonton Oilers at TD Garden.

But the Bruins' third straight defeat started off on the right foot, really, as David Pastrnak blasted a shot through Mike Smith (and with some help from Edmonton's Kris Russell on the way) just five seconds into Boston's first power-play chance of the afternoon to give the B's a one-goal edge just 3:10 into the first period.

With the strike, the Bruins actually extended their power-play goal streak to 10 games, which is the longest streak by the franchise since a 10-game power-play run in March of 1996, and carried a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.

Edmonton countered in the second period, though, and with some help from the Bruins, as Gaetan Haas pounced on an egregious Jake DeBrusk turnover and put in the back of the Boston net at the 7:41 mark of the frame. It was a turnover and goal against that resulted in what was a significant benching for DeBrusk, who had just three shifts in the middle frame and went nearly 10 minutes between shifts after the Haas goal.

Conor Ryan on Twitter

A brutal turnover from Jake DeBrusk leads to a goal for Gaetan Haas. 1-1 game. https://t.co/uK5i78JTwi

And then came a backbreaker from Darnell Nurse, who put one by Jaroslav Halak with just 6.3 seconds left in the period, and on what was an absolute must-save shot on Halak's net.

Connor McDavid made matters worse just 1:48 into the third period, as he found all the space needed to turn on the jets and beat Halak for his 23rd goal of the season, and that was really all she wrote on this one.

The Bruins had a power-play opportunity later in the period but did nothing with it, and Smith finished with stops on all but one of the 35 shots thrown his way for his eighth victory of the season.

Halak, meanwhile, stopped 22-of-25 shots in the losing effort.

The Bruins were also forced to play without Matt Grzelcyk in this one, as the 5-foot-9 defender sat out due to an illness. With Grzelcyk out, Steve Kampfer drew back into action for the B's and on a pairing with Johnny Moore. Connor Clifton, meanwhile, remained out of action with an upper-body injury, and has not started skating yet.

And with the loss, the Bruins saw their eight-game point streak (3-0-5) come to an end.

Up next, the Bruins will head to Nashville for a Tuesday meeting with the Predators.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.