Tyler Seguin started the playoffs with skates blazing and a stick loaded for attack.
In Game 1, Seguin ripped off a team-best seven shots. Seguin hammered a shot off the crossbar. In Game 2, Seguin led the Bruins again, this time by thumping James Reimer with eight pucks.
In Toronto, during Games 3 and 4, Seguin’s offensive presence went missing. He had just two shots in Game 3. Seguin was even quieter in Game 4, when he landed only one shot on goal.
Seguin, Brad Marchand, and Patrice Bergeron have not scored an even-strength goal. Bergeron scored the trio’s first goal on the power play in Game 4. The offensive struggles of Seguin’s unit have not been exposed because of the dominance of Milan Lucic, David Krejci, and Nathan Horton.
“It’s pretty obvious that line is leading the way right now,” coach Claude Julien said of his power threesome. “Bergy scores a goal last night. You’re going to say it’s a power play. Bergy’s played well. I thought Tyler played extremely well here in Boston. That line was actually good. But I don’t think Tyler played his best, and neither did Brad, in Toronto. They’ve got a chance to redeem themselves here.”
Seguin doesn’t have a point through four games. Marchand has two assists.
Seguin also closed out the regular season with four straight games without a goal. Seguin’s last strike was on April 20 against Pittsburgh. The goal-scoring drought has affected Seguin’s confidence, even when he doesn’t have the puck. In Game 4, Seguin was a step off in joining races and engaging in puck battles.
No return visit desired
The Bruins are 9-8 all time in Game 5 when they’ve held a 3-1 series lead. Game 6 would be on Sunday at the Air Canada Centre. The Bruins have no plans of clearing customs and changing dollars into loonies again.
“We don’t want to go back to Toronto,” said Horton. “We know it’s going to be a tough game. They’re a great team. They played us great last game. We know it’s going to be even tougher in the next one.”
Twelve of this year’s Bruins were on the 2009-10 roster when they lost to the Flyers after taking a 3-0 series lead. Rask was in goal for all four games Philadelphia rallied back to claim.
“You’ve got to play your best game,” Julien said. “We know how hard it is to close. That’s the thing that you hope your players realize and understand extremely well after all the experiences we’ve had throughout the years. We now know how hard it is to close. There’s no reason for us to come out tomorrow and not play as hard, if not harder, than we did last night.”
All the Bruins’ regulars stayed off the TD Garden ice on Thursday. They reported to the Garden for treatment, meetings, and off-ice workouts . . . Shawn Thornton skated only eight shifts in Game 4. It was the fewest number of shifts Thornton has taken during the series. Fellow tough guy Colton Orr also skated only eight shifts. “You’re asking the wrong guy. I wasn’t out there,” Thornton said with a smile when asked about the team’s play in overtime . . . Thornton, however, did a better job of staying out of the penalty box than Orr. The Toronto enforcer was called for elbowing at 15:41 of the second period. The Bruins scored with Orr in the box. It was the second power-play goal the Bruins scored after a fourth-liner’s penalty. Bergeron’s power-play 32 seconds into the second came with Leo Komarov serving a charging penalty . . . The Bruins are not expected to make any lineup changes for Game 5. Dougie Hamilton, Aaron Johnson, Carl Soderberg, Kaspars Daugavins, and Jay Pandolfo are the likely healthy scratches.