BOSTON – The Los Angeles Kings landed at TD Banknorth Garden with the league’s 10th-ranked penalty kill.
By the time the dust settled on the Kings’ 3-2 overtime win over the Boston Bruins, the LA penalty kill had made the home-standing club’s power play looked like Amy Winehouse after a bender.
The Bruins went 0-for-4 on the night — twice failing with a full two-minute advantage in both the second and third periods after grabbing a 2-0 lead with even-strength goals. For the night, Boston managed just five shots on net while a man up. To say that those penalty kills gave the Kings momentum would be the understatement of the week.
“We were doing well and then your power play, it gets an opportunity here to hopefully get you a goal at some point. And even if it’s not a goal, it’s got to be momentum. But our power play was totally flat tonight and took away the momentum,” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “If anything, our PK had better scoring chances than our power play tonight.”
Mark Recchi was brought to Boston to be the missing link — the left-handed shot the club needed to solidify an already potent power play. But in the last six games, Boston is just 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) on the man-advantage. While the veteran winger thought there was some improvement from the second period to the third period, he knows things started to get away in that middle stanza.
“The second period, we just weren’t desperate enough. We were making bad decisions with pucks. We were trying to force things,” said Recchi of the Bruins’ power play, which entered the game No. 1 at home in the entire NHL. “I just don’t think we were desperate enough. We didn’t win battles. And that was a momentum-changer. We have to get out there and work hard and do the right things. You’ve got to pay a price.”
Fellow first-unit winger Michael Ryder thinks it’s time for the Bruins to stop being cute and start firing away.
“Sometimes we just don’t make the pass when there’s an easy pass and we don’t get shots at the net,” he explained. “Right now, I think we’re just a little hesitant on the power play. We’re not moving as quick as we would and not opening up the box. We’re just kind of standing still. The key for us to get the power play (going) is just to shoot the puck and we’ve got to make sure our next game we keep firing the puck at the net and get rebounds.”