<
>

Power play shows some positive signs

BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins scored a power-play goal in their 3-2 overtime win over the Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals -- yes, it's true.

The Bruins -- owners of one of the worst power plays in the NHL the last three seasons -- lit the lamp on the man advantage Thursday night when rookie Torey Krug beat Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game at 2-2 2:55 into the third period.

The Bruins finished just 1-for-4, but there were signs that their futile power play may finally play a role in the team's success in this 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs. And the strongest signs came on two power plays that didn't result in goals.

With Rangers defenseman John Moore sent to the penalty box 17:51 into the third period, the Bruins started to move the puck around and create chances. At some points on that power play and then on another early in overtime, (Derek Dorsett, interference), the Bruins' power play was -- dare we say it? -- high octane.

The addition of the puck-moving capabilities of rookies Dougie Hamilton, Torey Krug and Matt Bartkowski and the energy that blue-line trio brings seem to be energizing the Bruins. That was particularly evident in overtime, when they dominated the Rangers, outshooting them 16-5.

"With our power play, it's like any team in the league," coach Claude Julien said Friday. "You've got some better stretches than others and Thursday night we got the one goal that got us back in the game, but the overtime, we did everything but score on that power play.

"We were on top of the puck and everything else and that's why. You can't be disappointed in your power play when they do those kinds of things, but it certainly gave us some momentum and the biggest thing that had to happen after that power play was to carry that momentum instead of being frustrated because we didn't score. That's what our guys did. The approach after the power play was important than anything else."

On Friday, Hamilton discussed the difference between taking a little extra time cycling the puck to find the right play and overpassing while looking for the perfect shot.

"I think just moving it around and trying to get shots. I don't think we were really looking for some cute plays," Hamilton said. "I think just trying to move it back and forth to kind of open them up and shoot it. I think that's what we have to do -- get pucks to the net and try to get rebounds."