The zero is definitely a reversal. After scoring six times in 16 power-play chances in the first round of the playoffs against Detroit, the Bruins have gone 0 for 5 on the man advantage against the Canadiens in two games, a number that seems more important given the success that Montreal has had against the Bruins’ penalty kill (4 for 9).
“I think there is nothing wrong with our power play, except for, I guess, the results, which we could critique,” coach Claude Julien said. “But when you look at the chances that we have had on our power play, whether it’s posts, some great saves from the goaltender, from unbelievable opportunities and missed chances, the execution is there, the finishes just aren’t there.
“So we just have to work on our finish a little bit better and if that is the case, then our power play will be even more successful.”
The Bruins remade their power play this season, finishing third in the league at 21.7 percent. That carried over against the Red Wings, but it hasn’t against Montreal.
“We definitely have to improve,” said Torey Krug. “Special teams wins you hockey games. Their power play has shown up and our penalty kill has not.
“Our power play is struggling to find the back of the net. We’re getting good looks, though. We have good movement and good momentum.
“At the end of the day, in the playoffs, that doesn’t matter. You’ve got to score goals. I think we’re on the verge of finding the back of the net for sure.”
That seemed to be the sentiment from all of the Bruins. They’ve gotten the chances, or “so many, so many great looks,” as David Krejci put it. They just haven’t capitalized on them. Because of that, they remain confident, convinced that eventually, the pucks will start going in the net.
Asked if the Montreal defense is doing something particularly well, Krug said, “I think it’s just finishing. We’re moving the puck well, we have pretty solid movement and good looks at the net. It’s just we’ve got to find a way to get it past Carey Price.
“It’s the same as even-strength. We have the opportunity. We’ve just got to find a way to make sure we have a guy with net-front presence and getting by him. It’s just that finishing touch we’ve got to find.”
Caron earns his keep
Jordan Caron had a good showing in the five games of the Detroit series — and found himself back in the press box for Game 1 vs. Montreal. But Julien turned back to Caron for Game 2, opting for the more experienced Caron instead of Justin Florek.
“He played well,” Julien said. “I thought he worked hard, he competed hard along the boards, he’s been going to the net hard and did the same thing last game. So it’s just one of those things that you feel that he’s earned the opportunity to get back in there and no matter how much ice he gets, whenever he’s out there, he’s giving everything he’s got.”
Caron played 35 games this season, mostly as an injury replacement as the 13th forward. He averaged 10:55 of ice time, while recording 3 points (one goal, two assists) and earning a whopping 36 penalty minutes. Caron scored in the Game 3 win against Detroit.
“I was hoping I was going to be in the first game, but when Claude told me I was in the second game, I was pretty excited,” Caron said. “That’s the kind of game you want to play in, and you want to be a part of those rivalries and stuff like that. It was a good game, a good comeback by us. I was happy to be a part of it.
“Being from Quebec City, it’s always special to play against Montreal. There’s always a lot more of family and friends watching, so it’s the kind of games you want to be in.”
According to ESPN Boston, the Bruins had Chad Johnson ready to play in Game 1 in case Tuukka Rask needed to leave to attend to the birth of his first child. His girlfriend was due with a daughter Friday, the day after the game, and the Bruins had contingency plans based on her arrival, according to the report. The baby wasn’t born until late Sunday/early Monday, and Rask got the honor of leading the team stretch at the end of practice Monday . . . After Game 2, Price said, “They got pretty lucky, I thought.” Asked about Price’s assertion, Milan Lucic said, “Well, sometimes you’ve got to be lucky to be good, I guess.” . . . The Bell Centre has a reputation as a tough place to play, but Rask doesn’t agree. He has better numbers against the Canadiens in Montreal than he does at the TD Garden, in fact. “I’ve always said I like playing there, it’s one of the greatest [places] to play in,” Rask said. “It’s fun as long as you’re not down, 5-0, after the first. I’ve seen those games happening, too. It’s a great atmosphere and we just try to enjoy it and have fun out there.” Said Julien about the difficulties of playing there, especially relating to the refereeing, “At the end of the day, we’ve just got to go out there and play our game. It’s important for us not to think that way. It’s important for us to think about what we need to do to win and not let those kind of distractions get in our heads.”Amalie Benjamin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.