In the first round, the Bruins power play had its bumps.
It also managed to score in each of the first six games.
The B’s did net a power-play goal against the Blue Jackets in Game 2, with Matt Grzelcyk connecting to put the Bruins ahead, but much like Game 1, the man-advantage was mostly abysmal.
“I think our power play didn’t execute to the level it should,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said. “You might not score, but it’s been pretty good all year at finding itself. I think that was an area that we have an opportunity in the third period, at least put some pressure on them.
“Especially in a tight checking game where neither team generated a lot of offense 5-on-5, so that’s where you have to make hay, and they did on theirs, and we didn’t on ours. Yes, we got a goal, helped us. The number looks good, you’re 25 percent (1-for-4), but in the big picture, our No. 1 unit didn’t generate much either game on it.”
Josh Anderson of the Blue Jackets served a double minor in the second period after slashing Sean Kuraly’s face, but the B’s instead allowed a 4-on-4 goal and then didn’t get a shot on net on the ensuing power play.
They got a late third-period power play with the same result.
The top-line players, who also make up the first power-play unit, haven’t scored an even-strength or power-play goal since Game 6 against Toronto, just a Patrice Bergeron empty-netter in Game 7.
The depth is a nice story, but the B’s biggest offensive weapon, the power play, has to get going to beat a tough Columbus squad.
“As far as I’m concerned, it just comes down to good old-fashioned hard work,” said Torey Krug, who works on the first power-play unit. “They have guys that are working hard, and they get paid to be penalty killers, and we have guys that get paid to score goals and be on the power play. We have one extra guy on the ice than they do, so just go to work and we have to execute. I think we’re pretty close. We have to make one more good pass and then we’ll break them down. It’s just about getting some guys going and we’ll go from there.”
The Bruins are facing a Blue Jackets kill that had the third-best percentage in the regular season.
It’s going to be even tougher to garner momentum on the road, but the first step to stealing home ice back is getting the power play, what’s made them successful all season long, going once again.
“We’re aware the series is now 1-1,” Krug said. “We’re going to have to win a game on their home ice and we’re aware of it. It is what it is. You can’t sit there and mope or sulk. It’s playoff hockey. That’s what makes it fun. You don’t have to worry about anything that’s happened in the past. You just move forward and play the game that is in front of you.”