Welcome surge on power play
Unit turns switch with pair of goals
The Bruins’ power play had become a punch line, going the entire opening round and two games into the second without scoring.
Now, with two power-play goals in the last two games, the man-advantage is relatively unstoppable.
In Game 3, Zdeno Chara busted the team’s 0-for-30 slump with a five-on-three goal over Sergei Bobrovsky. With Mike Richards and Braydon Coburn in the box, Chara took advantage of the space he saw and ripped a triple-digit bomb into the Philadelphia net.
Last night, the Bruins scored once on their five chances. At 12:02 of the first period, with Daniel Carcillo serving a cross-checking penalty on Gregory Campbell, Milan Lucic snapped a close-distance shot past Bobrovsky for the game’s first goal. It was one of five power-play shots the Bruins put on goal.
“Pretty good overall,’’ coach Claude Julien said of the power play. “In the second period, we had one where we didn’t do a very good job with our entries. Consequently, we didn’t get much of a power play out of it. But when we got control in the offensive zone, I thought we’ve been doing a better job of moving the puck and creating scoring chances. Hopefully that’s something that keeps getting better. Because we all know we’re going to need it.’’
The puck movement on Lucic’s goal was especially crisp. Tomas Kaberle started the play at the point, going down the wall to David Krejci. The playmaker wasted little time pulling away from the boards, attacking the penalty-killing box, then dishing to his left to Nathan Horton. As Krejci’s pass went to Horton, Lucic made himself available in front of the net. Snap, came Horton’s pass. Boom, went Lucic’s shot.
“It was our first five-on-four goal of the playoffs here,’’ said Lucic. “So it’s nice that the power play was able to score a goal for us. It was a great feeling once I scored the goal just to get the monkey off the back and get that lead. I think that’s why we’ve been so good these last nine games after losing the two to Montreal. We always had a good start. We were able to establish that lead again.’’
A quick bounce back In the second period, Brad Marchand committed a rookie mistake: a giveaway inside the offensive blue line.
During four-on-four play (Lucic and Scott Hartnell had gone off with charging and roughing minors), Marchand turned in the offensive zone with the puck, then fired a pass that Richards picked off. With only Dennis Seidenberg back, Richards easily got the puck past the defenseman with a pass to Kris Versteeg. The ex-Bruin buried his breakaway, tucking a backhander over Tim Thomas at 13:22 to tie the game at 1-1.
“I was very frustrated,’’ Marchand said of the turnover. “I had to bounce back and not worry about it. There was another period to play in. We needed to get the lead, get back in it, and get the win. If I let that bother me, then it could have ruined the whole game for us. I just wanted to let it go.’’
Marchand practiced release and reload, the strategy the coaching staff preaches for players to shrug off mistakes and do better on following shifts.
In the third, Marchand scored the first of two empty-netters. Andrej Meszaros blocked Marchand’s initial shot, but he never gave up. Marchand followed the shot, tracked down the rebound, and found the back of the net at 18:04. It was Marchand’s fifth goal of the playoffs.
Waiting list for tickets The Bruins announced yesterday that loge and balcony season tickets (12,000 seats) for the 2011-12 season are sold out. The team has created a waiting list, which fans can join for $100 (nonrefundable) per seat. As of yesterday afternoon, 111 accounts — approximately 250 seats — were on the list.
“I think it’s great,’’ Amy Latimer, senior vice president of sales and marketing, said of the list. “I think it shows the demand for our season tickets. It gives people an opportunity so they’re not wondering what’s going on in the future on how they get season tickets.’’
McQuaid improving Adam McQuaid missed his second straight game because of a sprained neck. According to Julien, McQuaid skated yesterday morning at Ristuccia Arena . . . Before the game, Andrew Ference noted the second round had fewer peaks and valleys than the first round against Montreal. “The first series was more emotional. This series is almost business-like,’’ Ference said. “Guys have been very focused on getting the job done.’’ . . . Tickets for the first three home games of the Eastern Conference finals against Tampa Bay will go on sale today at 4 p.m. . . . As usual, the Flyers concluded another season with goaltending questions. Last night, Bobrovsky was steadier than Brian Boucher had been in the three previous games. “We didn’t lose the game because of our goalie,’’ said general manager Paul Holmgren. “We lost the game because their team outplayed our team.’’