Bruins struggling to finish on power play

Bruins struggling to finish on power play
October 14, 2013, 5:00 pm
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BOSTON -- Claude Julien believes his team's biggest issue right now is finishing. He feels his best shooters are pressing. And at a time in which his power play is 0-for-12 in its last three games, the only thing that can change, offensively, for the Bruins, is scoring goals.

Especially on the power play.

"We're really struggling with our finish lately," said Julien after Monday afternoon's 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings at the TD Garden. "It looks like we're feeling the pressure of scoring goals. They're not coming easy."

Boston was 0-for-5 on the power play in Monday's loss. That included a 5-on-3 and a 5-on-4 in the third period, while trailing 3-1.

The 5-on-3 power play for the Bruins came five minutes into the third period, with two Detroit penalties called within six seconds of each other. So the B's had a two-man advantage for 1:54.

Julien even called a timeout before it started, understanding just how important it would be for his team to score, given the fact that they trailed the Red Wings 3-1 at the time.

Zdeno Chara was on the right point and Jarome Iginla was on the left point for the 5-on-3, which is a different look for the Bruins, given the fact that Chara spends his 5-on-4 power play time in front of the net this season.

But even with the different look and the nearly two minutes of 5-on-3 play, the B's were unable to put one past Red Wings goaltender Jonas Gustavsson.

"I thought we created some really good chances," said Chara. "Again, maybe we could shoot a little bit more, but I thought on the 5-on-3, we had some good opportunities to score and some good chances. A lot of shots on net, they just didn't go in."

"There were some chances there," said Julien. "There were some shots. But some of our guys that are good shooters probably aren't shooting as well as we'd like them to be.

"We're not putting the puck in the net on our power play, and it doesn't matter who it is," added Julien. "It seems to be a team thing right now, where we're fighting to score goals."

As most of the Bruins pointed out after Monday's loss, chances are not goals.

"We didn't score goals," said defenseman Torey Krug. "That's what we're judged on. They can say we had great puck movement, but that doesn't matter because our job is to score goals and get momentum for our team.

"It seems to be a tendency of whoever is out on the power play, we like to make the pretty play, and sometimes that's not what it takes," added Krug. "It's just, something ugly, get it to the net, and let those guys go to work."

Iginla was brought in to be one of the team's better shooters. And he let several shots rip from the top of the circles on the 5-on-3.

"One [shot] I just missed probably by a couple inches on the top-right corner," said Iginla. "One I missed by a mile. And that was just trying to hit it too hard and too excited and just missed it.

"When you're feeling it, those go in. And unfortunately they didn't. It was an important time of the game. It could have been a big difference."

Any Bruins goal on any of their five power plays could have been a big difference on Monday. But once again, it all comes down to finishing.

"We're getting chances, we're not burying them," said Julien. "At the end of the day, if you want your power play to be successful, you've got to score goals. Being good and spending lots of time in the offensive zone, getting chances, is one thing. It's a positive thing, but you've still got to produce. And right now, we haven't been producing.

"The main thing on the power play is, you've got to score. And we're not doing that. So, you can't be happy with it."