Bruins

Notes: Bruins finally find life on the power play

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Notes: Bruins finally find life on the power play

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

TAMPA The Bruins finally got their power play going a bit in Game 2 at TD Garden, scoring twice in one game for the first time during the playoffs. There were several factors at the heart of the renaissance, but the two biggest seemed to be a) Tomas Kaberle pulling out of his post-trade deadline tailspin and b) the appearance of Tyler Seguin.

Kaberle notched a pair of assists and it was Seguins sonic blast from the left point that set up Michael Ryders power-play goal. Their play should lead to more PP time for both players in Thursday nights Game 3 at the St Pete Times Forum.

We finished the job and a wins a win, said David Krejci, who operates off the half-wall running the first power-play unit. I like the puck movement, and the chances were getting are pretty good right now. Its a just of matter of getting consistent and being able to get some good pressure each time were out there.

Coach Claude Julien saw plenty that he liked on the man advantage, but its also clear improvement can still be made. For now, consistency would be much more desirable than getting the occasional outburst out of the special teams unit.

I think it had to do with a lot of things. I think we were moving the puck better, we shot it more and we had better . . . traffic in front of the net, said Julien. We just seemed to be more determined as a group and we talked before the game that we felt it was important for us to win the special-team battle against a team that is really good in regards to that.

It was a big challenge for us and our guys responded well. Yeah, our power play was better and if we can continue to play like that, it will help us a lot.

The Bs are now 4-for-46 on the power play during the playoffs, a still-pathetic 8.7 percent success rate through the first 13 playoff games this spring.

The Bruins are having some defensive problems around the net, and both coach and players recognized that things need to shut down after giving up 10 goals in two games to the Lightning this season.

Dennis Seidenberg said the Bruins already have adjustments theyre ready to employ.

Both teams are really sound defensively and both teams dont expect to score or get scored on as much as we both did in first two games, said Seidenberg. Im sure both of us are going to adjust to it and start playing better defensively."

Nathan Horton took an ill-timed penalty in an otherwise solid Game 2, and Julien said its a fine line his No. 1 right wing rides between discipline and playing with emotion.

"We talked about Brad Marchand and making sure he rides the fine line said Julien. The one thing that is not easy is the fact that Horton's been told in the past that hes been too timid, when he was in Florida. All of a sudden he's showing some emotion, and you dont want to take that away from him.

You might want to temper with it a little bit and make sure you work with him in regards to not crossing the line. But I like the fact that hes playing with an edge because its really helped his game a lot.

Julien indicated that if Patrice Bergeron is indeed good to go in Game 3 at the St. Pete Times Forum, then he wont be limited in his playing time. After skating for four or five days, the Bs coach said Bergeron has had enough time under his belt to quickly ingratiate himself back into the power play, penalty kill and other five-on-five action for his customary 17-20 minutes per night.

Hes going to be good, said Julien. I mean, hes been skating now for I think four of five days. Ive talked to him, he feels his conditioning is right on in those skating practices. He doesnt feel winded or anything like that. So when you look back at our team, you know were having a lot of days off between games and stuff like that. Hes skated on some of those days. So I think hes pretty well in the area that he should be. I know that when you havent played in almost two weeks, it might take him maybe a period. But I think hell catch on pretty quickly.

The Bruins had zero ice availability for their team on Wednesdays off day, and instead spent the day traveling from Boston to Tampa Bay.

The NHL Network created a History Will Be Made commercial featuring Tyler Seguins heroics from Game 2 against the Tampa Bay Lightning. It was tagged with the slogan Where History Doesnt Know its Age . . . pretty cool stuff.

Krejci wasnt wild about the crowd at the TD Garden in the Game 1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning, and gave the Bs fans a little bit of a backhanded slap for finally showing up within the heroics of Game 2.

"It was fun, said Krejci. It was good to see our fans were behind us - and not against us for once.

I was disappointed in the first game when they booed us. Obviously we knew we didnt play our best game, but it was the first game of the conference final and wed made it that far. I had been a little disappointed, but then yesterday they were unbelievable."

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

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Pastrnak on B's loss: "We kind of stopped playing"

BOSTON – At the end of the day, it was simply a game where the Bruins allowed themselves to get outworked in the third period and overtime. 

The B’s held a three-goal lead in the second period and still enjoyed a two-goal lead in the third period, but eventually dropped a frustrating, futile 5-4 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres at TD Garden on Saturday night. It was clear to most speaking after the game that the Bruins eased up on the gas pedal once they’d scored their fourth goal of the game in the second period, and simply watched as the Sabres stomped all over them in the game’s second half. 

“I think we might have been a little bit too scared to play [in the third period], you know? We tried to just flip the pucks away, and didn’t make any plays trying to get it in the zone. Instead we should have just kept going like we did in the first two periods,” said David Pastrnak, who scored a pair of goals early in the loss to allow the Bruins to build up the three-goal lead. “Obviously we’re disappointed. We got one point. I think we didn’t play our game in the third period. We kind of stopped playing and they were all over us, and you know, it’s on us. We were the ones that gave them their point, but the first two periods were good. It’s just another learning session.”

To Pastrnak’s point, the Bruins were outshot by a 15-6 margin in the final 20 minutes of regulation and 21-6 overall in the third period and overtime prior to Ryan O’Reilly’s game-winner during 3-on-3 play. It was at this point the Bruins certainly missed stalwart stay-at-home defensemen Adam McQuaid and Kevan Miller in the D-zone, and fell short of qualified penalty killers while trying to burn off a Brandon Carlo interference call at the end of the third period. 

All of that caught up to them once the Bruins loosened their grip on the Sabres, but certainly the feeling is that the loss should’ve been avoidable even if some of the circumstances made it difficult for the Black and Gold. It also should have been avoidable against a Sabres hockey club that was dreadful last season, and is again one of the doormats in the Atlantic Division in the early going thus far. 

“Those are the games you can’t lose. We obviously didn’t do the job there in the third and close it out, but we’re going to have to regroup and work on our game and be better for the next one,” said Brad Marchand. “We didn’t play the game we needed to play. We relaxed a bit and we started losing a few battles in the wrong areas, and you know, they just played better than we did.”

It’s mystifying that any team would need a crash-and-born loss like Saturday night in order to learn any lessons moving forward, and it certainly might have been a different story for the Bruins if they weren’t missing a few big defensive pieces. But that’s not how it went down for the Black and Gold as they sagged under rising pressure from the Sabres, and simply stopped working when the chips were on the table late in Saturday night’s game.