Bruins Notes: Penalty Kill Struggles; Zdeno Chara Ends Goalless Drought

The Boston Bruins didn’t have much room for error Sunday with Brad Marchand joining Patrice Bergeron and Charlie McAvoy among injured B’s players not able to play against the Chicago Blackhawks.

Without these three valuable players, as well as the suspended David Backes, the B’s couldn’t afford to struggle on special teams. Unfortunately for the Bruins, special teams let them down as the Hawks earned a 3-1 win at the United Center to split the home-and-home weekend series.

The Bruins’ penalty kill surrendered two goals: one in the first period that gave the Blackhawks a 1-0 lead and another in the third period that proved to be the game-winner. Boston also failed to score on its only power-play opportunity.

The Bruins entered the day with the fifth-best penalty kill in the NHL at 83.1 percent, but the unit has allowed four goals over the last four games. Bergeron is the best penalty-killing forward in the league, so his absence certainly hurt, but there are enough veterans on this roster with a lot of PK experience.

The B’s don’t have many issues in their game right now as winners of eight of the last 11 games, but the penalty kill is one area that does need to be improved before the Stanley Cup playoffs begin April 11.

Here are some other notes from Bruins vs. Blackhawks:

— Zdeno Chara scored Boston’s only goal at 10:57 of the third period. The tally was Chara’s seventh of the season and ended an 11-game goalless drought. His last goal came on Feb. 13 against the Calgary Flames.

— Chara also passed a Hall of Famer on the career games played leaderboard.

— Bruins backup goalie Anton Khudobin made 36 saves on 39 shots for a .923 save percentage. He stopped several difficult shots, too, including the one from Patrick Kane in the video below.

— Linemates Jake DeBrusk (seven points in the last six games) and David Krejci (six points in the last six games) each picked up an assist on Chara’s goal.

— The Bruins’ six-game win streak that was snapped Sunday was their longest such streak of the season. All six wins came at home.

— Kane scored the winning goal on the power play with 3:16 left in the third period. He’s tallied 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 15 career regular-season games versus the B’s.

Thumbnail photo via Dennis Wierzbicki/USA TODAY Sports

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