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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, February 1st (All times Eastern)
Edmonton Oilers (18-32-6) at Boston Bruins (34-16-3), 1 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Edmonton Oilers won their third straight game last time out thanks to a record-setting performance from goaltender Ben Scrivens.
The Oilers hope to get a better all-around team effort when they aim for their first four-game winning streak of the season in Saturday's road test against the Boston Bruins.
Scrivens stopped all 59 shots he faced to set an NHL record for saves in a regular-season shutout, as the Oilers claimed a 3-0 home win over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday at Rexall Place. Making just his fourth start with Edmonton, the 27-year-old Scrivens topped the previous record set by Mike Smith on April 4, 2012, when he stopped 54 shots for the Phoenix Coyotes in a 2-0 win over Columbus.
"That's why you ride the bike, train and take care of your body," Scrivens said of facing so many shots.
Taylor Hall tallied a goal and two assists, Jordan Eberle added a goal and a helper, and Justin Schultz also lit the lamp for Edmonton, which has won three straight on the heels of a six-game slide.
"That's got to be one of the best performances by a goalie I've ever seen," Hall said of Scrivens. "You could tell he was feeling it in the first (period)."
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins also had complimentary words for Scrivens, but he was more concerned with how his club was thoroughly outplayed by the Sharks.
"We were overwhelmed in the game," Eakins said. "I thought San Jose was firing on all cylinders. Right from our back end to our forwards, we just couldn't shake it. We were firmly standing around watching and we were playing a very cautious, cautious game which, you can't do in this league. You can't do it."
Scrivens, who was traded from Los Angeles to Edmonton on Jan. 15, will get the start today and the former Maple Leafs goalie is 0-2-0 with a 5.11 goals against average in his career against Boston.
Oilers forward Matt Hendricks left Wednesday's game with a head injury suffered in a fight and is questionable for this afternoon's game. Edmonton defenseman Andrew Ference has missed the last three games due to a head injury and is also questionable for Saturday.
Edmonton will try to record its first four-game winning streak since it claimed five straight games from March 26-April 3 of last season. However, the Oilers enter Saturday's tilt with a dreadful 8-18-4 road record this season and they've also been completely dominated by Boston in the recent series history.
The Oilers have lost 11 straight in the series and haven't beaten the Bruins since Oct. 17, 2000. Edmonton is also 0-6-1 with a tie in Boston since last earning a victory in Beantown on Nov. 7, 1996, when the Oilers torched the B's by a 6-0 score.
Boston, which holds a four-point lead over Tampa Bay for first place in the Atlantic Division, had won four in a row before dropping Thursday's 4-1 decision against visiting Montreal. Brian Gionta and Danny Briere scored crucial goals in the second period, helping the Canadiens take down the Bruins at TD Garden.
Gionta notched a power-play goal to give the Habs a 3-1 edge at 11:54 of the second period and Briere tallied 1:52 later to arrive at the final margin.
Dougie Hamilton supplied the lone offense for the Bruins, who were denied a fifth straight win by their oldest rivals. Tuukka Rask allowed three goals on 18 shots in 27-plus minutes. Chad Johnson filled in and gave up one score on 15 shots for the remainder of the contest.
"It wasn't good enough from, I guess, an emotional standpoint and from a determination standpoint," said Bruins forward Milan Lucic.
Boston is playing the third test of a four-game homestand on Saturday and will close the residency Tuesday against Vancouver. The Bruins boast a strong 20-6-2 record on home ice this season.
02/01 11:07:59 ET