Bruins

Notes: Bruins' power play continues to sputter

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Notes: Bruins' power play continues to sputter

By JoeHaggerty
CSNNE.com

MONTREAL The track record isnt great.

The last team to capture a Stanley Cup playoff series without scoring at least one power-play goal was the Detroit Red Wings during a four-game sweep of the Anaheim Ducks in 2003.

Its much more difficult to track down a team that emerged victorious in a six- or seven-game series without a power-play goal. And if the Bruins -- now a pathetic 0-for-19 with the man advantage during their series against the Canadiens -- wind up losing, their failure to convert on the power play will be a big reason why.

Weve got to be a lot better on the PP, said Mark Recchi. Were not getting any sustained pressure to top it off. Were getting one shot or one hit, and its getting blocked down."

The Bruins managed a grand total of two shots on net in their four power plays Tuesday night, and its gotten to the point where theres little puck movement once in the zone and absolutely no creative player movement without the puck to force the Habs penalty killers into unfamiliar territory.

The Bruins seem exceptionally frustrated that they cant get even consistently maintain possession in the offensive zone while skating with the man advantage, and its gotten to the point where perhaps things need to be a little different. The current power-play design isnt surprising anybody, and is certainly not sneaking up on a Montreal team thats seen their power play time and time again over the five years.

Its up to Claude Julien and more specifically assistant Geoff Ward, who's in charge of the power play to start discovering ways to tweak the man advantage, perhaps adding Zdeno Chara to the big bodies down low around the net when things are getting a little rough.

Recchi wasnt biting when asked about potentially switching up the personnel and placing Chara smack dab in front of the net.

Thats not my job," Recchi said. "My job is whatever the coach tells me to go do. Whatever they come up with, well work through it and go there."

Milan Lucic was not given a match penalty for his hit from behind on Jaroslav Spacek that ended with the Bs big left winger's night. He did get a game misconduct and was tossed out of the game.

Claude Julien and the rest of the Bruins didnt want to comment on the incident.

I havent had any chance to really look at it closely, said Julien. You see quick replays here and there, but its something that I need to see here before Im able to comment on that.

Shawn Thornton managed only four shifts and 2:27 of ice time in the first period of Game 6 as the special teams took over. With that in mind, and with a power play thats getting absolutely nothing done, could there be a movement to start playing Tyler Seguin against the Canadiens.

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.