Bruins hope to extend win streak vs. Oilers

( – The Boston Bruins will try to extend their longest
winning streak of the season when they host the sliding Edmonton Oilers in
Thursday’s battle at TD Garden.

The Bruins have won three straight for the first time this season and the last
two victories have come at the start of a four-game homestand. Boston also is
4-1-0 in its first five games without captain and top defenseman Zdeno Chara,
who tore a ligament in his right knee late last month.

There’s an excellent chance Boston will push the streak to four games tonight,
as it enters Thursday’s matchup riding a 12-game winning streak against the
Oilers, who last beat the Bruins on Oct. 17, 2000. Edmonton’s last victory in
Boston was way back on Nov. 7, 1996 and the Oilers are 0-7-1 with a tie in
their last nine games in Beantown.

Boston picked up an overtime victory in its latest outing, edging the Florida
Panthers by a 2-1 score. Brad Marchand scored the winner with 1:33 to play in
OT to help the Bruins get to the .500 mark on home ice (4-4-0).

Marchand took a pass from Dougie Hamilton and skated down the middle, making a
move to get around Dylan Olsen before switching back to the forehand and
wristing it into the left corner for his fifth goal of the season.

“I think tonight was a real big step forward for us,” said Marchand. “We
played with a lot more confidence than we have in the past number of games,
and it seems like were able to make plays now and hold on.”

Patrice Bergeron scored the other goal for Boston while Tuukka Rask only
needed to stop 18 shots for the win. Rask expects to start again tonight and
is 3-0 with a 1.67 goals against average in three career tilts versus

After tonight, the Bruins won’t play again until Monday when they complete
their current stay at TD Garden against New Jersey.

Boston hopes to have centerman David Krejci back in the lineup tonight after
missing him for the last two tilts with an undisclosed injury. He is
questionable for Thursday.

The Oilers have lost three straight in regulation and opened a five-game road
trip with Tuesday’s 4-1 setback in Philadelphia. The loss dropped Edmonton to
0-3-1 as the visiting team this season.

Flyers goaltender Steve Mason stopped 35-of-36 shots to earn his first win of
the season in his sixth start, while Jakub Voracek scored twice to help down
the Oilers.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins supplied the lone offense for the Oilers, while Viktor
Fasth surrendered all four markers on just 25 shots.

“The fact of the matter is we can’t have just five or six guys step up,”
Oilers head coach Dallas Eakins said. “If you’re not maximizing your potential
you are doing your team a terrible disservice and that’s the difference of the

Ben Scrivens is expected to start in net tonight for Edmonton. He is winless
(0-3-0) with a 4.68 GAA in three career outings versus the Bruins.

The Oilers will continue their swing tomorrow evening in Buffalo.