BOSTON -- If anyone knows what Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin are going through during the Boston Bruins' Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, it's forward Milan Lucic.
In 2011, Lucic led the team during the regular season with 30 goals but failed to score a goal in the Bruins' first seven postseason games. Lucic also failed to score in the first round in 2012 against the Washington Capitals before the Bruins were eliminated.
Although the Bruins carry a 3-2 series lead into Game 6 Sunday (7 p.m. ET, CBC, RDS), Marchand and Seguin have yet to solve the Toronto Maple Leafs' defense. Marchand, the Bruins' leading scorer in the regular season with 18 goals and 36 points, has two assists through five games, and Seguin, who scored 16 goals in the regular season, has no points.
"It happened to me last year and it happened to me in 2011, where you lead the team in goals and scoring and then you go into the first round of the playoffs and it's not really going for you," Lucic said after an optional practice Saturday at TD Garden. "I mean, I think you have to try to do whatever you can to get yourself out of it and not put too much emphasis on scoring. Because scoring is, if you look at it, you can't get to C without accomplishing A and B. So you just focus on A and B more so and it'll get to the result that you want to get to."
Marchand and Seguin battled through similar problems against the Capitals last spring. Marchand finished with a goal for his only point in the series, and Seguin didn't record a point through five games and finished the series with two goals and one assist. Seguin has scored one goal in his past 11 games, regular season and playoffs combined, and Marchand is goal-less in his past nine.
"You want to contribute every night, but that's not how it works," Marchand said after the Bruins' series-extending loss in Game 5. "Even if you're not scoring, you have to do other things well. I've got to do something to turn that around and get on the scoreboard."
Marchand was held without a shot in Game 5, and only a couple of Seguin's six shots could be considered solid scoring chances. Despite solid work in the defensive zone and on faceoffs, center Patrice Bergeron also has to be faulted for the way his line has underperformed. Bergeron has one power-play goal this series and a minus-1 rating.
For whatever reason, the trio isn't cycling the puck as effectively as it did during the regular season, when it was Boston's best line. There's not much net drive and very little dangling in an attempt to create some offense.
Considering the way David Krejci's line, with Lucic and Nathan Horton, has performed through five games of this series, and the improvement from Chris Kelly’s line in Game 5, which included Jaromir Jagr and Rich Peverley, Bruins coach Claude Julien isn't likely to make changes for Game 6. The onus is on Bergeron and his linemates to bust themselves out of their slump.
"I haven't denied the fact that [Marchand] and that line haven't been as good," Julien said. "Certainly [there are] things that we deal with internally and dealt with those guys internally. Certainly, I'm not going to elaborate on them, specifically, publicly; that's not my style. I'm seeing the same thing you guys are. That's the case, a lot of those things aren't happening right now. Those things have to happen. We're doing some work with those guys to help them find those parts of their game and you hope that that's going to be the case [Sunday]."
Typically used as a shut-down line, the Marchand-Seguin-Bergeron trio usually doesn't have this much trouble also scoring some goals for the Bruins. Bergeron said their defensive game hasn't lapsed much, but he knows they're running out of time to put points on the board.
"Defensively is also something that we need to do the job," Bergeron said. "I think we've done that for the most part and we've got to make sure we bring the offense as well. It's part of our line, I guess it's our identity, if you want to call it that way -- we play both sides of the rink. These two guys [Marchand and Seguin] have learned a lot to play at both sides and they're fine at that now, and they want to be better at it. And it's always great to see, but at the end of the day, you don't have as much time as the regular season. It's about being accountable for your teammates and going out there and doing it."
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