BOSTON – It would have been difficult for the Boston Bruins to improve a power play that went 6-for-16 in the Eastern Conference First Round against the Detroit Red Wings and ranked third in the regular season at 21.7 percent efficiency, but few people expected this.
Through two games of the Eastern Conference Second Round against the Montreal Canadiens, Boston's power play has been less of a weapon. The Bruins went a combined 0-for-5 in the two games, which they split to send to the series to Bell Centre for Game 3 on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).
"We definitely have to improve," Bruins defenseman Torey Krug said Sunday. "You know special teams win you hockey games. And their power play is showing up and our penalty kill's not, and our power play is struggling to find the back of the net. We're getting good looks, though. We have good movement and good momentum. But at the end of the day, in the playoffs that doesn't matter. You've got to score goals and I think we're on the verge of finding the back of the net, for sure."
From Game 1 to 2 the Bruins' power play definitely became more active. In going 0-for-2 in Game 1, the Bruins attempted eight shots. Three were stopped by Montreal goaltender Carey Price, four missed the net and one was blocked. On three power plays in Game 2 the Bruins attempted 15 shots. Eight tested Price (including one during a one-minute 5-on-3), six were blocked and one missed the net.
Montreal's penalty kill ranked fourth (85.1) in the regular season and is 10-for-12 (83.3) in the postseason. The Bruins don't think they need a major overhaul of their power play to get production against the Canadiens.
"I think there's nothing wrong with our power play except for, I guess, the results, which we could critique," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "But when you look at the chances that we have had on our power play, whether it's posts, some great saves from the goaltender, some unbelievable opportunities and missed chances. The execution is there, the finishes just aren't there. So we just have to work on our finish a little bit better and if that is the case then our power play will be even more successful."