April 27, 2011

Power play woes continue to bite Bruins

Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. (Getty)

The chance to throw the knockout punch was there. The Boston Bruins could've pushed aside any unwanted drama by eliminating the Canadiens in Game 6 at the Bell Centre, but it simply wasn't meant to be.

With a 2-1 victory for Montreal, this series will now shift back to Boston for a decisive seventh game.

"It's all about tomorrow," Zdeno Chara said on Tuesday night after the 2-1 setback. "It's a Game 7. We've got to get ready for that."

While the Bruins did have certain areas of woe in the tilt, the fact remains that they spent an abundance of time on the Habs end and played significantly better during 5-on-5 play.

"I feel like we played a decent game 5-on-5, but special teams we obviously lost in that category," said defenseman Dennis Seidenberg, who scored the Bruins long goal on the night. "We hemmed them into their zone quite a lot, we just have to finish."

Coach Claude Julien echoed Seidenberg's sentiments, as both of Montreal's goals came while they possessed a 5-on-3 man advantage.

"Well I don’t know if it was desperation," Julien said when asked about the Habs drive to win. "You just got here, I’m going to repeat myself. Two goals five-on-three, that’s all that there was from their side, but from our end five-on-five we did a great job tonight. Even killing four-on-five we did a great job and those five-on-three power play goals were the difference in the game."

What wasn't worth writing home about, however, was the Bruins power play.

Boston went 0-for-4 in Game 6, slipping to a miserable 0-for-19 in the series with the man advantage. Even worse, the Bruins put just two pucks on Carey Price over the course of those power plays.

"Our power play is struggling," said Julien. "I think we’ve talked about that every day so far. They scored two goals five-on-three. Five-on-four they weren’t a threat and neither were we. Five-on-five I thought we were obviously a team that held most of the control if the game and that’s what we have to do.

"We have to stay disciplined, stay away from the penalty box like we talked about at the beginning of the series. But I would have liked to have a five-on-three, maybe our power play would have scored as well. But it wasn’t the case and again, it’s one of those games where we tried, we worked hard, we had our chances and we weren’t able to bury them. But certainly not down or disappointed in our game except for the fact those five-on-threes ended up costing us the game."

Chara knows it's now or never to get Boston power play going.

"We need to find a way to generate something and we haven't done it yet," the captain said. "It's going to be very important in Game 7. We've just got to approach it like it's the most important game of the season and be ready for it."

That same approach came close to working in Game 6, but fell short. If the Bruins don't want their season to end tonight, that certainly can not happen again.