It appeared that Sunday’s road game against the Sabres was going to become another cautionary tale of woe and lost opportunities for the Boston power play.
The Bruins had been 0-for-3 through the first two periods of play on the man advantage, and hadn’t generated much offensive juice despite some new combinations on the two PP units.
Even worse the Bruins gagged on a power play late in the second period after Chris Bourque had drawn a tripping penalty near the blue line on Mike Weber. The Bruins didn’t finish with a single shot on net during the two minutes of PP time and allowed the Sabres to hem them into the defensive zone. Twenty seconds later Buffalo had capitalized on the momentum-changing special teams play and Tyler Ennis had a game-tying score on a couple of plays where Dougie Hamilton looked like a 19-year-old rookie.
But the good news for the Bruins and their put upon power play is that Patrice Bergeron hit pay dirt with a power play game-winner in the third period that led the Black and Gold to a 3-1 victory at the First Niagara Center. As futile as the special teams unit appeared in the first 40 minutes, they cashed in and executed when they had to in the final period.
“It was nice to get a goal there,” said Brad Marchand. “We’ve been struggling a little bit lately [on the power play] and we’ve been working hard on it the last few days. It really paid off in the third period.”
Bergeron won an offensive zone face-off and Rich Peverley worked the puck over to Chris Bourque at the high point. Bourque fired wide left with a shot that bounced off bodies in front before kicking left of the net, but the puck bounced hard off the end boards back to Bergeron as he crashed down on the net.
The Bruins two-way center fired to beat Buffalo goalie Ryan Miller from the slot, and Boston had that elusive power play goal. The Bruins went into Sunday’s game ranked dead-last in the NHL with a power play that was scoring only 8.8 percent of the time, and hope that a good bounce can change their fortunes a bit.
Bruins' up-and-down power-play ends on high note
CSN New England | Feb 11