Julien: Bruins will keep working on powerplay

Julien: Bruins will keep working on powerplay
April 13, 2012, 4:43 am

BOSTON -- If the Bruins hadn't won Game 1 on Thursday night, the main topic of conversation following the game would have been the power play.

Even Claude Julien admitted such, following his team's 1-0 overtime win over the Washington Capitals at the TD Garden.

But Chris Kelly's blast from the left circle, just 1:18 into OT, sent everybody in Boston home happy, and the Bruins' 0-for-4 night on the man advantage was merely an afterthought.

It was a thought, nonetheless.

"We had a couple of good opportunities, but I think that we have to get more pucks to the net, for sure," said Bruins forward Brian Rolston after the Game 1 win. "I think that Washington did a good job though. We're in the playoffs. Everybody's blocking shots. We have to find a way to get pucks through. That's a huge thing."

In their eight minutes on the power play, the Bruins had seven shots on goal. Some perfect opportunities were squandered through bouncing pucks and whiffed attempts at one-timers, but for the most part, the Bruins just didn't find enough openings to get enough puck movement.

It's a problem that didn't begin on Thursday night. The power play was a problem for this Bruins team last postseason as well. In fact, it was the worst in the playoffs.

But still, the B's have a ring to show for it. Mainly because their penalty kill was one of the best in the postseason.

Boston's penalty kill also prevented Washington's power play from scoring on Thursday night. The Capitals finished the game 0-for-2 on the man advantage.

Obviously the Bruins want to improve their power play, but knowing that they still have a chance to win a Stanley Cup -- and a game against the Capitals -- even if it doesn't improve, is somewhat relieving.

"Well, if you don't get scored on, that always helps, right? But you want to use your man advantage to score," said Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg after Thursday's win. "We just didn't seem to get those lanes and enough movement in order to get shooting lanes. We just have to be better.

"If we have four or five power plays, you've got to score on one of them. But again, we did a good job on the penalty kill, and we just have to improve on the power play I think."

So the Bruins will get back to work on Friday. And they will work on the power play once again. But how does it improve in games?

"Sliding and having a lot of movement up top at the blue line," said Seidenberg. "Finding shooting lanes with guys in front of the net. The puck movement's got to be poised. We've got to make stick-to-stick passes and attack when it's the right time to attack. And go from there."

Those stick-to-stick passes weren't crisp and clean in Game 1, and the puck movement wasn't smooth. But a win's a win.

And while it seems a poor power play these days isn't the end of the world, it certainly will be something they'll continue to address.

"Our guys weren't seeing much tonight," said Julien. "There were some openings that we could have used. And then, we were passing the puck a little too much versus shooting it. When we made some of those passes, some of those guys should have ripped a shot right away, and instead we stopped it and we started looking for another play.

"It's unfortunate, because at practice this week, I thought our guys were moving the puck well," added Julien. "They were finding the openings that we didn't find tonight. So, we'll keep working on that, and hopefully make it a better situation. Because there's no doubt, if we don't win the game tonight, we'd be talking a lot about that being the reason we lost."