Bruins’ Power-Play Drought Ends And Other Notes From Win Over Coyotes

by NESN Staff

December 7, 2014

The Boston Bruins power play had struggled mightily with an 0-for-16 mark in the nine games before Saturday night’s matchup with the Coyotes in Arizona.

In addition to its lack of success, Boston also wasn’t generating many opportunities with the man advantage. Even with two power-play chances against the Coyotes, the Bruins have been on the power play an NHL-low 66 times.

The Bruins did enjoy plenty of success with the extra attacker Saturday night, though, and even broke through with a goal in the second period from Loui Eriksson, who had a 12-game goalless drought snapped.

The B’s were moving the puck better, entering the zone cleaner and being more aggressive in firing shots on net to score or create rebounds at the top of the crease. The Bruins tallied nine shots on goal during two power plays against the Coyotes.

Eriksson’s goal was a rebound chance that was created from a Patrice Bergeron shot just outside the left faceoff circle.

Maintaining this success on the power play could be difficult because Thursday night’s opponent, the Chicago Blackhawks, have the league’s best penalty kill with a success rate over 90 percent.

— Bruins winger Brad Marchand scored twice to increase his team-leading goals total to eight. He finished the four-game road trip with five points (three goals, two assists).

— Simon Gagne scored his third goal of the season. It originally was ruled “no goal” because the referee determined Gagne kicked it in. The replay showed he didn’t and the call was overturned after an official review. It was his second goal of the road trip (he also scored against Anaheim on Monday) and the third for the fourth line on the road trip.

— The Bruins gave up four second-goals to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday, bringing their total to 30 on the season (second-most in the league). They improved Saturday with three goals for, none against in the second period versus Arizona.

— Patrice Bergeron won just eight of his 25 faceoffs (32 percent). Chris Kelly, Gregory Campbell and Carl Soderberg went a combined 17-for-29 (58 percent).

— Kevan Miller gave the Bruins a 2-0 lead in the first period with his first goal in 55 games.

— Rookie winger Seth Griffith entered the lineup and skated with Milan Lucic and Carl Soderberg for more than 11 minutes of his 13:11 of even-strength ice time. Defenseman Joe Morrow also returned and was paired with Miller for the majority of his 5-on-5 ice time. Both players were healthy scratches against the L.A. Kings on Tuesday and versus the Sharks on Thursday. The Bruins are 10-4-1 when Morrow is in the lineup.

Rookie winger David Pastrnak was scratched after playing four straight games to begin his NHL career. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski also was a healthy scratch.

— Defenseman Torey Krug led all Bruins with a plus-7 Corsi at even strength despite starting 44 percent of those shifts in the offensive zone. The Coyotes had a 43-38 shot attempts edge at even strength, while the Bruins held a 57-53 advantage in all situations.

chart (10)Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images

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