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Bruins frustrated by lack of offense in Game 5 loss to Maple Leafs

Generate few quality shots, go 0-for-3 on power play

by Amalie Benjamin @AmalieBenjamin / NHL.com Staff Writer

BOSTON -- There were 44 seconds remaining when the Boston Bruins finally broke through. It had taken that long, through two scoreless periods and three futile power plays for them to do something productive offensively.

The TD Garden faithful, who had been used to seeing Brad Marchand or David Pastrnak or Patrice Bergeron or Jake DeBrusk come up with the goal they needed at the moment they needed it all season were left wanting in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Friday. Instead, they bore witness to what could be the final game at the arena this season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs scored twice in the third period for a 2-1 win and a 3-2 lead in the best-of-7 series. Game 6 is at Toronto on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, SN, TVAS). 

 

[RELATED: Complete Bruins vs. Maple Leafs series coverage]

 

So what was the problem? Why couldn't the Bruins score?

"That's a good question," Krejci said. "If you've got the answer, I would like to know."

The Bruins scored six goals in a 6-4 win in Game 4 in Toronto on Wednesday, but they simply didn't get that many chances on net on Friday, passing up shots they should have taken, bungling pucks on power-play opportunities, foiled by a defense that has played better than its reputation through the first five games of this series. 

It was what left coach Bruce Cassidy repeating the same refrain over and over, talking about generating shots, generating chances, generating anything at all. 

Video: TOR@BOS, Gm5: Andersen shuts down Marchand, Pastrnak

"That was probably my biggest beef," Cassidy said, "Less about the play of the individual player, but the group not generating enough offense with shots or shot recovery situations where we could take advantage of coverage. We just turned down too many shots in my estimation."

Boston repeatedly broke through Toronto's defense on the power play in the first four games, scoring in each, including twice in Game 4. They were 5-for-11 with the man advantage, and they had the Maple Leafs bemoaning their struggles on the penalty kill. 

But even though the Bruins had the first three power-play opportunities of Game 5 -- one at the end of the first period, two in the second -- they found more pushback than they had previously. Their chances were fewer. Their success nonexistent. 

That was what bothered Pastrnak the most. 

"Definitely," he said. 

They had a couple of looks, including at the end of their first power play, courtesy of a Zach Hyman tripping penalty at 17:00. Marcus Johansson had a shot. Bergeron had another. There was some pressure. 

"We had chances to get the first goal," Pastrnak said. "When it's a long, tied game, sometimes the one goal is what you need, and we didn't get it first."

Though they nearly did. 

Video: Maple Leafs win Game 5 to take series lead

Their best chance came at 12:39 of the second period, a shot by Krejci off a feed from Marchand that hit the crossbar and bounced into the crease, where it was gloved by Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen. It was close enough that it left the Bruins hoping and the officials going to video review. 

The puck had not crossed the goal line. 

It wouldn't until Auston Matthews scored at 11:33 of the third, a disputed goal that the Bruins believed was goalie interference but stood on video review, and until Kasperi Kapanen scored the eventual game-winner at 13:45. For Boston, it wouldn't until the final minute of the third period, when Krejci made it 2-1 at 19:16. 

That can't be what happens in Game 6. 

"Put more pucks on their goalie," Pastrnak said about what needs to change. "We scored five last game [plus an empty net goal], so we've got to make sure we shoot everything to the net and recover pucks and [get] just a little bit more offense.

"We're getting the opportunities, we just need to find a better way to score or get the rebound and stay on the puck."

They need to find shots and chances, to put pressure on the Maple Leafs, to pounce on rebounds, to force Andersen to make saves. They need to do what they've done all season, what they did in Game 4, what they were unable to do in Game 5. 

They need to score, or their season will be over. 

"We have to rely on each other and put ourselves in a bubble and do the job," Bergeron said. "That's the bottom line. Everything is on the line now."

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