McDavid gets No. 50, but Oilers lose to ‘league’s best team’

ESPN news services4 minute reading

Connor McDavid scores his 50th goal of the season

Connor McDavid scores his 50th goal of the season so far against the Bruins.

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 held off the Edmonton Oilers, 3-2, on Monday night.

Pavel Zacha scored the tying goal late in the second period and the Bruins patched up the 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 have six or seven (defensemen) that can really play hockey, and then we have four lines that can really play hockey,” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said in his postgame interview on NESN.

For 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 hard against them and gave ourselves a chance to win.”

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 the skates of Oilers defenseman Cody Ceci and trickled slowly toward the left side of the goal. As Skinner managed to knock the puck aside, Zacha popped up and slammed the puck up and in for his 14th of the season to make it 3-2.

“We skated fast and prided ourselves on all three zones,” Swayman said in his postgame NESN interview. “It made my job easy, so it’s just really fun to be part of that win. It was definitely a special one.”

McDavid had tied the score at 2-2 with 7:40 left in the second with his 50. Klim Kostin skated down the right side and chased down a long dump behind the goal line, got 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 a lot,” McDavid said.

McDavid, whose previous career high was 44 goals last season, got the Oilers on the scoreboard first, 2:17 into the game, when he skated to the left circle and beat Swayman’s five-hole.

Nosek tied the game just 13 seconds later when he received a pass in front from Garnet Hathaway — who came over from the Capitals with Orlov last Thursday — and sent the puck into the upper right corner for his fourth.

Foligno gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead with 4:54 left in the middle period when he got the rebound 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 the team’s road trip.

“Just in case,” the trainer said. “I don’t think it’s anything serious. But with back-to-back games, we didn’t see him play so we sent him back.”

Boston will continue its western road trip on Tuesday, taking on the Calgary Flames.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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