BOSTON– Well Bruins fans, in a span of 24 hours, you have seen the best and the worst of the Black and Gold. The high of a five-goal third period and ultimate 7-4 victory against the Penguins to a dismal one-goal and somewhat sluggish 3-1 loss to rival Montreal.
While all aspects of the game seemed lack-luster, perhaps the most obvious was found within the special teams.
Coming into Thursday night’s game, the Bruins were ranked first in the NHL for their penalty kill, allowing only four power play goals so far this season. However, the Canadiens power play proved to be too much for the B’s, as they racked up two of their three goals on the extra-man advantage.
“I mean their power play was, I think it was pretty good,” Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg said. “I mean I tried to take away the shooting lane and passing lane and he [Cammalleri] made a real nice pass to Gionta, and kind of almost batted it out of the air. So it was a real nice play he made and I think if you make plays like that, you get goals.”
Perhaps what’s so ironic about this situation is that the Canadiens entered the game ranked 30th in the league on the man advantage. This is the first time this season where they have scored more than one power play goal, and coincidentally the first time the Bruins have given up two of them.
Just one night after the onslaught of goals in the third period, the Bruins found themselves striking out at scoring opportunities, putting up 35 shots on goal, but netting only one of them. They did not convert on any of the four penalties charged against Montreal, and their lone goal came from captain Zdeno Chara late in the first period.
While some are shaking it off as back-to-back game fatigue, others like Milan Lucic weren’t sure what the cause of the breakdown was or why their numbers show such a spread between home and away games.
“I mean, I thought we had a pretty good start,” Lucic said. “But then we took a couple penalties and they were able to get that first goal and we kind of took the foot off the gas pedal a little bit.
“We created a bunch of scoring chances, but you know it’s, I don’t know what’s going on, we are finding ways to score on the road, we’re doing the right things on the road, pucks are going in but for some reason at home it’s not going in for us.”
This loss also marked another loss for goaltender Tuukka Rask who has not won a game yet this season. Sitting behind the current hot-hand of Tim Thomas, Rask has gone 0-4-1 with a .923 save percentage and 2.75 GAA.
“You try to be prepared for those penalties, too, but I feel like I’m always in position,” Rask said about his own play. “I can’t cover for the bounce at all and I don’t know if I’ve got to change something or if I’ve got a lock, or if it’s just bad luck, but definitely the puck’s not going my way. It’s just hockey.”
The Bruins will have a day to prepare before hosting another division opponent — the Ottawa Senators — at TD Garden Saturday where they hope to have more of a jump in their step and energy to their legs.
“The easiest thing to do I guess would be to point fingers here or there,” Bruins head coach Claude Julien said. “But we’ll stand here and take the blame and hopefully redeem ourselves here and come back Saturday with a strong, strong game.”