It's tough to Bear

ROBIN BROWNLEE -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 11:07 AM ET

Beware the angry Bear.

The Edmonton Oilers had reason to eyeball the Boston Bruins with some apprehension when they filed into Rexall Place last night.

The Bruins, after all, arrived just 48 hours removed from blanking Ottawa 3-0 in the wake of Joe Thornton's trade to San Jose, and the Oilers had reason to believe they would still be surly over the loss of their captain.

Ready for the worst they were, but after fashioning a 3-0 lead and looking like they'd stifled any emotion the visitors packed with them from Beantown, the Oilers relaxed and the Bruins scored four straight goals in a back-and-forth tilt decided by David Tanabe in a 5-4 overtime win for the Bruins.

No Ordinary Joes, these Bruins.

"We had a really good start, I thought," said Jarret Stoll. "The second period killed us. They jumped all over us, got a couple of breaks around the net and put it in. We let it slip away."

Outshot 40-26 and outclassed early, the Bruins got the win when Tanabe took a pass from Brian Leetch and one-timed it past Jussi Markkanen with just 30 seconds left in OT to complete the comeback.

IN CONTROL?

Ahead 3-0 thanks to Todd Harvey, Ryan Smyth and Fernando Pisani and seemingly in control, the Oilers stood around long enough in the second period to see the Bruins get even on a couple of goals by Brad Boyes and another by Sergei Samsonov in a span of 5:27. When Boyes got his second to make it 3-3 at 11:53 on a giveaway by Pisani in the slot in front of Markkanen, it was game on.

"We talked between periods about coming out and putting a strong period on the ice and we'd come away with the win," Stoll said. "We just let it slip away. In the second period they took it to us and we didn't adjust very well."

BURIED A FEED

When Patrice Bergeron buried a feed from Boyes 13 seconds into the third period, the Oilers were reeling, but Pisani made amends for his gaffe in the second when he made it 4-4, sliding into the net and taking Hannu Toivonen and Ethan Moreau's rebound with him at 3:46.

"It was just one of those things where we let up a bit," Pisani said. "The next thing you know, we're in a tie game. Instead of being in control of the game, we let them back in."

Markkanen stiffed Alexei Zhamnov early in overtime, but the Bruins kept coming and Tanabe decided it with his first of the season.

"The first time you play a team after a major coaching change, it's similar to a trade like this," said Michael Peca, who played pivot between Pisani and Moreau. "There's definitely added motivation for a team to prove something.

"It's like they've all been called out and made an example of. Now, all of a sudden, there's something to prove again. When a team plays with that kind of fire, it's a tough task."

AROUND THE RINK: On a 1-for-19 struggle in its last five games, the Oilers power play got plugged in and went 2-for-4.


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