BOSTON — In a season of frustrating losses for the Bruins, Thursday’s 3-2 overtime defeat to the Anaheim Ducks at TD Garden was one of the toughest to swallow.
The Bruins aren’t in a position in the playoff race to be content with moral victories, but the recent performance of the power play — a unit that has been inconsistent and often ineffective after dominating last season — is certainly encouraging.
“It was a good checking game,” Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. “We played solid defensively and got pucks to the net offensively with guys in front and our power play was clicking. Like you said, I mean, it was a good game for all of us. It didn?t matter at the end of the road, but if there?s one positive, it?s that we played a solid 60 minutes, but it just wasn?t enough at the end.”
The Bruins scored twice with the man advantage Thursday, giving them power-play goals in four straight games for the first time all season.
Shortly after Ducks forward Pat Maroon opened the scoring with a goal at the 10:18 mark of the second period, Ryan Spooner evened the score with a power-play tally for the Bruins. The young center controlled a bouncing puck above the faceoff circle and fired a great shot past Ducks goaltender Frederik Andersen.
The Bruins added another power-play goal early in the third period when Loui Eriksson capitalized on a bad rebound given up by Andersen.
The Bruins finished 2-for-4 with seven shots while on the man advantage.
Boston’s first power-play unit, which featured David Krejci and Torey Krug at the points, with Patrice Bergeron, Spooner and Eriksson up front, was particularly good. This unit was put together during Boston’s road trip through Western Canada in mid-February and it has dramatically improved the amount of scoring chances and goals with the man advantage.
Since Feb. 15, the Bruins have scored 13 power-play goals, the third-most in the NHL. They have also created 108 scoring chances with the man advantage in that span, tied with the Philadelphia Flyers for the most in the league, per War on Ice.
The Bruins need to be better during 5-on-5 play for the remainder of the season and not rely on the power play so much. That said, the consistency the power play has shown over the last week is a positive step forward at a crucial time in the season.
Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports Images