There had been small improvements, small indications that the Bruins were working harder on the power play, that more results might be in the team’s future. Of course, the Bruins still stood at 20th in the NHL in the power play, a position that must have been familiar to them after years of power-play futility.
They’ll be moving up after Saturday’s 3-1 win over the Maple Leafs, scoring their eighth and ninth power-play goals of the season.
The second of those power-play goals, the game-winner, came from Patrice Bergeron at 1:06 of the third period as he beat Toronto’s James Reimer (31 saves).
Bergeron, of course, scored the tying and winning goals against Reimer on May 13, the Game 7 comeback for the ages that sent the Bruins on to the next round and, eventually, the Stanley Cup Final.
He was the first forward to score for the Bruins on the power play this season, after Torey Krug (3), Zdeno Chara (3), and Dougie Hamilton.
Chara’s third PPG of the season came at 15:27 of the first.
The win took, too, an impressive night of work for the Bruins’ defensemen after Adam McQuaid was lost for the game at 7:52 of the first period. That left the Bruins with five defenders for the rest of the night, but they managed to hold Toronto to one score, with Joffrey Lupul beating Tuukka Rask (33 saves) at 16:52 of the second.
Bergeron added another with 21.7 seconds left into an empty net.