The Bruins power play hadn't lit the red light since March 7 when Savard suffered a concussion after a Matt Cooke blindside hit — until Saturday. The team exploded for three lamplighters and went 3-for-4 in power-play opportunities in the 5-0 win over the Flames.
Apparently, even if Savard isn't dressed for action, his presence is
"The big thing was our power play,’" coach Claude Julien said. "Giving us that three-goal cushion was huge. We made better play selection. We moved the puck a lot better tape-to-tape. When we had an opportunity to shoot it, we shot the puck. We had good net-front presence. All those kinds of things that we've been struggling at, we were better at."
Savard, at TD Garden for the second straight game since the injury, ironically referenced the power play as the main reason he wanted to be back on the ice. Well, consider the wish somewhat granted as his teammates finally found a way to utilize the man advantage as he watched above from a team suite.
Julien switched up his two power-play units with the team's top equal-strength line of Marco Sturm, Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi up front on the top unit with Dennis Seidenberg and Dennis Wideman manning the points.
The second unit had Blake Wheeler, David Krejci and Milan Lucic up front. Behind the three was Zdeno Chara and Johnny Boychuk. The realignment worked to near perfection as Seidenberg, Krejci and Chara all scored on the power play.
"We switched things up and sometimes that's all it takes," Recchi told the media after the game.
"Bodies in front and shooting pucks,’" Recchi continued, noting what it takes to succeed on a power play. "Retrieving pucks and working hard. We did all those things. We have to continue that if we want to continue to be successful. It changes things up a little bit. It obviously worked, so it was good."
Another key to the revitalized power play was not trying to make the perfect play or over-passing and in effect, killing the clock for the opponent. If the Bruins saw a path to the net or a scoring chance, they took it.
"Our power play was really clicking," Chara said. "We were able to make plays. We were not looking for fancy plays. We were just keeping it simple and it scored huge goals for us."
Seidenberg agreed with his captain.
"We focused on getting pucks to the net — shooting with screens in front and getting to rebounds," he said. "We did that tonight and we scored goals."
Now, the Black and Gold will need to do it against one of the better penalty kills in the league in Buffalo.
If Boston continues to take chances and not over-analyze, it might be able to add a new weapon to its offense at the perfect time. A good power play would be a godsend for the lowest-scoring team in the NHL.