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Boston Bruins Finally Bust Through Power Play Slump

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Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins went almost an entire month without a power play goal at the end of the regular season but managed to avoid going into the Stanley Cup playoffs with the drought intact.

It didn’t happen until the third period on Boston’s 5-0 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night at TD Garden, but then the floodgates opened with the B’s scoring a pair of PP goals within two minutes of each other in the third.

The first was Pastrnak’s 40th goal of the season and the second PP goal was Taylor Hall’s 20th score of the season in a couple of big round numbers. Funnily enough, it wasn’t a big setup that led to the power play goal. Instead, it was a quick transition play up the ice where Pastrnak cut to the middle and finished off a Taylor Hall pass after the puck was moved quickly up the ice.

The PP goal snapped a streak of 0-for-40 on the man advantage for the Black and Gold that dated all the way back to April 2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and had the Boston Bruins just praying for a good result at this point. Certainly it was a lot easier in the last couple of games once David Pastrnak finally returned to the lineup after missing most of the PP slump time.

“I just want to get a goal and then it’ll just be over with,” said Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy prior to Thursday night’s game. “I mean, we’ve had some good looks. We’ve had good chances. I think we just need one to go in and then it’ll be fine. I think when we’re scoring, when things are going good, you’re just showing up and you’re playing. It’s all instinct. It’s feel.

“Then when things don’t go well, you start overthinking. You’re looking more into why things are not going right sometimes. Maybe it’s just the goalie making saves. Sometimes it’s just a lack of good chances or poor decisions. But when things are good, it’s easier to just come in and play.”

The Boston Bruins are still above a 20 percent success rate on the power play for the season, but the month-long stretch of futility dropped them out of the top half of the league for power play success rate headed into the postseason.

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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