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Power Play Emerges in Bruins' Win Over Buffalo

Boston tallies three goals with the man advantage

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins / Boston Bruins

BOSTON - Practice and pride. Sometimes that's all it takes to have success.

The Bruins were not too proud of their effort on the power play in Saturday night's loss to the New York Rangers, when they allowed two shorthanded goals en route to a 5-2 defeat.

Add that to a measly 7.9 percent success rate on the man advantage - the second-worst mark in the league - through the season's first 11 games and the Black & Gold left TD Garden an unhappy bunch.

After having Sunday off to decompress, the Bruins were back at it Monday morning for a pregame skate, during which coach Claude Julien put his special teams units through the paces.

The extra work - and that added pride - did wonders for the Bruins in a 4-0 thrashing of the Buffalo Sabres Monday night, as Boston pumped home three power-play tallies in the victory.

Video: BUF@BOS: Pastrnak buries PPG off a rebound

"Just worked on it this morning and gave them the due responsibility as some of the best players on our team that they had to step up. They did that tonight," said Julien, who notched his 400th victory with the Bruins.

"A little practice this morning and obviously some pride tonight in making sure that they were the difference makers instead of ending up on the negative side."

The power-play tallies came from Brad Marchand and David Krejci - his first goal of the season - in the second period and David Pastrnak in the third. Riley Nash added his first of the season in the second and Tuukka Rask made 32 saves for his second shutout to pace the Bruins to their fourth win in five games.

"We looked at some clips when we were doing fine, when we were moving the puck well and moving our feet," Krejci said of what it took to improve the power play. "I thought that's what we did today. We didn't really just stand in one spot. We were moving all over the ice and creating some good scoring chances and got three goals.

"That was a big power-play night for us. Hopefully we've got more in the bag, especially for tomorrow."

Video: Players speak to media after 4-0 win against Sabres

By doubling their season-long output on the power play - the Bruins had been just 3 for 38 entering the night - Boston has relieved some of the pressure that had built up over the season's first month.

"You know, it's always about time, but it can't work every night," said Pastrnak, who scored his team-leading eighth goal. "Last game it didn't go well and today it went well.

"Just going to try to keep doing the same thing like we did today on the next PP and hopefully it's going to be good for us."

Beleskey Breaks Out

After sitting out the Bruins' win over Tampa Bay last Thursday, Matt Beleskey returned to the lineup Saturday and performed well. Julien complimented the winger's energy level and work ethic despite the team's loss.

Beleskey took it up another notch on Monday night with an assist on Marchand's opening goal for his first point of the season, while also dropping the gloves with Derek Grant in the third. He was initially credited with the Bruins' third goal, but after being reviewed by the official scorers, the tally was awarded to Nash.  

"He was definitely in the right place tonight," said Julien. "He seemed like a more determined player and sometimes, you know, you need to sit out and miss the game a little bit or whatever to really spark things. And that's why we do those things.

"I said it right from the get-go, I'm not punishing him, I'm trying to get him going. And whether it's that, whether it's something else, at the end of the day he's a better player lately."

Video: BUF@BOS: Nash credited with goal off Kulikov's skate

Beleskey's heavy forecheck led to Nash picking up the puck in the left corner, before Nash fired one toward the net. The puck appeared to deflect off Beleskey's skate, but after further examination it was determined it actually hit off the Sabres defenseman.

"Skey had an awesome game tonight. He was one of our best players, so if he got it, if I got it, it didn't really matter," said Nash. "I think he's just been back to his old self. He's a hardnosed player, shoots the puck, and when he's in on the forecheck, he creates a lot of turnover.

"He's easy to play with. I really enjoy playing in the middle with him, so makes my game a lot easier."

Beleskey did not want to say being scratched was beneficial, but he did acknowledge it gave him some time to take a step back and contemplate his game.

"I don't want to say it helped me, I don't want to get scratched again," Beleskey said with a chuckle. "That's not what you want, but like I said [in Tampa] it's a reset, it's a time to think about the game, look at it and come back with an open mind.
"I think the coaches have been helping me work through it and that's all you can do work hard and hopefully get some bounces like I did tonight.

Krejci on the Board

Krejci's first goal of the season was a one-timed laser from the left point on the power play to put the Bruins up 2-0 in the second. He was relieved to finally get the first one out of the way.

"After a few games when you don't score, you start squeezing your stick and every time you have a good scoring chance and you don't put it in the net, you get a little frustrated," said Krejci.

"It was nice to get the first one and hopefully I can build a little more confidence and help the team with offense."

Video: BUF@BOS: Krejci blasts a massive slap shot for PPG

Rask Gets the Shutout

The shutout for Rask was the 32nd of his career, moving him into third place on the Bruins' all-time list. The veteran netminder also improved his record for the season to 7-1-0.

"Obviously, it's a very long history with this organization, so it's good to have your name in the record books," said Rask.

Video: BUF@BOS: Rask turns away Gionta's breakaway chance

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