Bruins’ Penalty Kill Has Been Key To Boston’s Success

The Bruins have killed off 24 straight shorthanded situations


April 1

The Boston Bruins hold a lot of top spots in the NHL this season — wins (59), points (123), save percentage (.929) and best goal differential (+119).

Another league-leading stat is their penalty-killing percentage at 86.7%. And thatDespite not having one of their best penalty killers in Derek Forbort, who has been out nine games since he blocked a shot with his foot in Boston’s shutout win over the Winnipeg Jets on March 16.

In their last five games, the Black and Gold have successfully killed off 24 consecutive shorthanded situations, including six against a possible first-round playoff opponent Pittsburgh Penguins during Saturday’s 4-3 Bruins win.

“I just liked the way our team played,” head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters following the game in Pittsburgh, per team video. “We kept battling, and there was a lot of adversity within that game. I’m just proud of our group. They played the right way, and we got rewarded for it.”

The Bruins’ penalty kill has also held the Carolina Hurricanes, Nashville Predators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Tampa Bay Lightning off the board while those teams held the man-advantage.

Combined, Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman have stopped all 31 shots they’ve faced during the past 24 attempts, ultimately being Boston’s best penalty killers.

On the flip side, the Bruins’ power play has been limping along for the better part of the second half of the season. Through the first 47 games, Boston posted 27.2% on the man-advantage, but that number has slid down to 22.1%.

With six games remaining in the regular season, Montgomery has tweaked the two power-play units over the past couple of months but hasn’t committed to an “easy” fix.

The Bruins will look to continue their penalty kill dominance and improve their man advantage when they travel to St. Louis for a matchup with the Blues on Sunday. Puck drop from Enterprise Center is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET and will be aired on TNT.

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images
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