The Boston Bruins have struggled on the power play for two weeks. Yet, coach Claude Julien is not ready to panic.
The Eastern Conference leaders look to avoid losing four in a row for the first time this season as they continue a five-game road trip Saturday night against the Nashville Predators.
Boston (39-10-7) went 0-for-2 with the man-advantage, and opened its swing with a 1-0 loss at New Jersey on Friday in a matchup of the East's top two teams.
While still among the top units in the NHL, converting 22.6 percent of their chances, the Bruins have gone 0-for-10 on the power play during their skid. Boston also has gone 3-for-32 with the man-advantage over its last eight games (4-2-2), but has not lost four straight since dropping six in a row from Dec. 18-29, 2007.
"Right now we're just a little bit off, which happens over the course of a season and it's up to us to try and put it back on track," Julien told the Bruins' official Web site.
Boston has managed to stay competitive despite its struggles and some injuries. Forward Michael Ryder (fractured facial bone) could be sidelined up to three weeks and Chuck Kobasew (upper body) may miss his second straight game.
"We didn't expect this whole season to go without any glitches and right now it's (about) how we are going to handle those glitches," said Julien, whose team fell to 20-6-3 away from home after having a four-game road winning streak snapped.
Boston took 31 shots against New Jersey, but failed to get any past Scott Clemmensen. Tim Thomas, meanwhile, made 17 saves to fall to 24-7-5 with a 2.12 goals-against average.
"We played a good game," Thomas said. "We could have easily won that game. We needed a couple of bounces and few pucks to go in."
Thomas recorded 37 saves in Boston's 3-1 win over Nashville on Jan. 29, 2008 in the teams' most recent contest. The All-Star could be rested to give backup Manny Fernandez a start, but he's 0-6-0 with a tie and 3.29 goals-against average in eight games at Nashville.
Marc Savard, the Bruins' leader this season with 42 assists and 63 points, has three goals and four assists in his last six games against the Predators.
This is Boston's first trip to Nashville since losing 5-0 to the Predators on Dec. 30, 2006.
Nashville (26-26-3) avoided its third straight loss with a 4-3 shootout win over St. Louis on Thursday. Jason Arnott tied it with three seconds left and Steve Sullivan scored the lone goal in the tiebreaker to give the Predators their fifth win in seven contests.
"Doesn't matter how you get them, just how many you get," said Arnott, who extended his season-high points streak to six games (five goals, two assists). "It was a good win for us at home and now we have to get ready for the next one."
Arnott, though, has one assist in his last five games against the Bruins.
Rookie Pekka Rinne, who has never faced Boston, made 24 saves against St. Louis to improve to 15-9-0 with a 2.35 GAA.
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