Bruins vs Rangers

Bruins still see room for improvement on penalty kill

Monday, 05.20.2013 / 12:57 PM

By Matt Kalman - Correspondent / Bruins-Rangers series blog

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Bruins-Rangers series blog
Bruins still see room for improvement on penalty kill

BOSTON -- After a mediocre performance in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Boston Bruins' penalty kill has been flawless against the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The Bruins, who lead the series 2-0 heading into Game 3 on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS), have killed all eight Rangers power plays. In the first round, Boston killed 16 of 21 Maple Leafs man-advantages, for a 76.2-percent success rate

Despite their 100-percent efficiency rate in the second round, the Bruins see room for improvement as they try to prevent the Rangers from emerging from their 2-for-36 slump.

"I think it's better. We've got to keep that going," center Patrice Bergeron said. "They're moving the puck well, so we have to make sure we keep having some good sticks and staying in the shooting lanes and being aggressive on them. If we give them time, they have the players to make the plays."

The Rangers were 0-for-3 in Game 1 and 0-for-5 in Game 2. However, they landed seven shots on net in the second game, a 5-2 Bruins win, compared to three in the first. Late in the second period and even in the third, when the Bruins led 4-2, the Rangers' power play was able to find room to test goaltender Tuukka Rask with some point-blanks shots.

That's the sign the Bruins still have to do more to prevent clean break-ins and be quicker clearing the puck.

"It's been better, even [in Game 2], while I thought we could've been better in certain areas, that gave them more zone time than we probably would've liked," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "They [the Rangers' power play] felt they were better, and we felt that we could've been better, as well. Hopefully we'll make those adjustments and be a little bit better on our penalty kill."

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For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.

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