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Bruins struggle on power play in loss to Sharks

02.05.11 at 4:59 pm ET
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On the Bruins’ first power play of Saturday’s 2-0 loss to the Sharks, Milan Lucic had a golden opportunity to tie the game up. A Zdeno Chara one-timer led to a rebound at the left side of the net and gave Lucic a brief look at an open cage. Unfortunately for the Bruins, Lucic’s bid went wide right.

That was the closest the Bruins would get on the power play, as they ultimately finished the game 0-for-4 on the man advantage. Not only did they fail to get another great look on their final three power plays, but they struggled to even get set up in the offensive zone.

“Our power play tonight had a tough time,” said coach Claude Julien. “Tonight was probably one of the tougher times we’ve had at getting the puck in. When we did get it in, we weren’t winning those battles for loose pucks and they kept shooting it back down the ice. That was probably, to me, the biggest difference in tonight’s game.”

The Bruins have now gone 0-for-12 on the power play over their last five games and 1-for-19 over their last seven. Julien said Saturday’s problems with getting organized and maintaining possession don’t really reflect how the power play has performed lately, though.

“I think the other night against Dallas, even though we didn’t score, our power play was good,” Julien said. “We moved the puck well and we had some chances and we didn’t score. … So we really felt our power play had taken a stride in the right direction. Tonight was a totally different case. We weren’t good enough in that area. This is our best players having to be at their best.”

Julien credited the Sharks with doing a good job on the penalty kill, but he also said his players could’ve made better decisions with the puck to try and overcome that.

“They were here the other night watching us, obviously, and they made some adjustments with their PK,” Julien said. “At the same time, we still have other options, and I don’t think our guys always took the best options. Consequently, we weren’t getting in clean.”

As much as the power play struggled, David Krejci said he liked some of the chances the Bruins generated on it in the first period. He also said he thinks it has looked pretty good lately despite the dearth of goals.

He pointed out that if Lucic’s rebound bid had gone in instead of going wide, he probably wouldn’t have to answer questions about the power play’s struggles.

“If that goes in,” Krejci said, “it would be a different game and we wouldn’t be talking about how the power play was bad tonight.”

Read More: Claude Julien, David Krejci, Milan Lucic,
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