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Special Teams Key to Game 7

by Hannah Becker / Boston Bruins
Bostonbruins.com – After the way Wednesday night’s special teams play turned out, it’s no surprise that the Bruins are looking at their power play and penalty kill as they key to Friday night’s Game 7.


Campbell tires to get control of the puck against Tampa Bay Lightning's Marc-Andre Bergeron and Mike Lundin, right, during the first period in Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference final series in Tampa, Fla., Wednesday, May 25, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
The Bruins finished an underwhelming 1-5 on the power play, while successfully killing off only one of Tampa’s man-advantages.

The Lightning notched three of their five goals on the power play.

“I think last night our power play gave us certain momentum at certain times, obviously we haven’t scored as much as we’ve liked to. But those guys have been working hard creating chances,” forward Gregory Campbell said.  “And at the very least, if those guys aren’t scoring they are creating momentum for us on the next shift.”

The Bruins tried a few different looks on the power play last night, including sliding defenseman Zdeno Chara down in front of Lighting goaltender Dwayne Roloson, a look the Bruins liked in their final power play of Game 5.

Center Patrice Bergeron also saw some time at the point.

“I think we are kind of struggling a little bit yesterday, but we got one goal on the power play so we want to keep the momentum going and hopefully we can get some PP goals tomorrow,” said forward David Krejci, who notched Boston’s only man-advantage goal with his second of three goals on the night.

But it’s not only Boston’s power play that needs to step up tomorrow night. They penalty kill will also be key in stopping Tama’s potent power play. Prior to last night, the Lightning hadn’t scored a man-advantage goal since Game 2. They made up for lost time with their three goals last night.

“Everybody knows what your power play has to bring, but it’s more than that. Our whole game, like our penalty kill,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said.

“When it’s been good it’s helped, because when their power play is not scoring and ours isn’t, it evens out.”

The Bruins have a plethora of penalty killers, with Bergeron, Chara and Campbell picking up the most short-handed time.

“I think that they were having too many good looks especially at the point there, some good shots.  Obviously [Steven] Stamkos is a good shooter, he had two great shots and the first goal they got, was kind of a scramble after that shot,” Bergeron said.

“But still they shouldn’t, we can’t allow that but at the same time I think it’s about making sure we battle and making sure we get that puck out.”

Entering Friday night’s Game 7, the Bruins are just 5 for 61 on the power play with a 79.4 percent penalty kill. The Bolts are 17 for 67 with a 93.3 percent penalty kill.

The Bruins will have to overcome those odds and remain disciplined if they want to win themselves a spot in the Stanley Cup Finals.
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