BOSTON – With Ryan Spooner out with a concussion, the Bruins coaching staff has made its adjustment to a top power-play unit missing one of its constant pieces, and opted to load up with its top PP group. That was apparent in Boston’s first power-play possession on Saturday when the B’s coaching staff left the top PP group of Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand, David Krejci and Torey Krug out for the entire possession.
Bruce Cassidy and the B’s coaching staff was rewarded for its patience with a Pastrnak power-play goal from the slot in Boston’s 2-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden, and hinted that we may see more of that in the short term of Spooner’s absence.
“It is front-end loaded, that power play. They’ve been very good the last two months, three months, whatever it is. So, we decided to let them have a go at it. It worked out. Second [period], I think the next one, it didn’t,” said Bruce Cassidy, when asked whether he was going on a “hunch” leaving the top power play out there for most of the shift. “Maybe we should have had our second unit. So sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. But that’s all that was.
“They are our top players, so we’re not kidding anybody: [David] Pastrnak, March [Brad Marchand], Bergy [Patrice Bergeron] out there on the power play, Krech [David Krejci] and Torey [Krug]. They might be our five leading scorers, so they’re going to get the lion’s share.”
All the same a Bruins power play that’s run hot and cold since the bye week (5-for-24 or a 20.8 percent success rate, but no PP goals in five of the 10 games played) appreciated the chance to work through a couple of whistles and find a way to strike for a big special teams goal against the Flyers.
“Obviously it’s good,” Pastrnak said. “We didn’t have that many looks. We need to get better and bury those down when we stay on the ice like that, or at least get the momentum to our team, you know?”
That’s exactly what they did on Pastrnak’s 28th goal of the season when the 20-year-old dumped a puck behind the Flyers net, Marchand beat Andrew MacDonald for a 1-on-1 puck battle deep behind the net and then Patrice Bergeron fed Pastrnak in the slot for the bang-bang PP goal.