While the Boston Bruins pulled out the playoff-style win against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night, it was far from perfect.
One area that continues to bedevil the B’s is the power play, where they went 0-for-3 in the 3-2 win over the Stars at the American Airlines Center and have now not scored a power play goal since way back in a Jan. 24 road win over the Montreal Canadiens. That’s almost a month since the Bruins have scored on the PP and has them currently in an 0-for-20 slump that’s hard to fathom given players like Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy on the top Bruins power play unit.
A great deal of the struggles come down to Boston’s best players getting outworked by opposing team’s penalty kill units, a sign that the Bruins players are trying to be a little too perfect on the man advantage.
“What we’re not happy with is everyone’s not in an attack mode,” said Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery, prior to the win over Dallas. “Everyone’s kind of wanting to set it up and have the perfect either shot or play and it’s a slow power play. We want to increase the attack mentality which should increase the puck movement and putting the penalty kill on their heels.”
The Bruins managed just two shots on net during their PP possessions on Tuesday night against Dallas, so there is still work to be done.
The one thing that any successful NHL team is going to need amidst power play struggles is a kick ass penalty kill, and that’s exactly what the Boston Bruins got with a perfect 4-for-4 against the Stars. The biggest kill came after Brad Marchand was whistled for a penalty in overtime with David Pastrnak’s OT winner coming a little more than a minute after the B’s shut down the Dallas special teams unit.
“We kept coming, especially in the third period,” said Pavel Zacha, who tied the game with a goal in the third period and was one of Boston’s most effective penalty killers throughout the game. “We played great overall, playing it simple in the neutral zone, trying to get chances there. You can see the depth in our team, blocking shots in the end, great penalty kill [against the Stars]. Just overall a good game for us and a big win.”
The PP struggles have dropped the Boston Bruins all the way down to 7th in the NHL with a 24.2 success percentage after they were near the top of the league all season, but they’ll get a chance to get healthy on Thursday night against a Predators PK that’s smack in the middle of the league this season after running up against of the league’s best in Dallas.