If there was one positive for the Boston Bruins that came out of Saturday night’s 3-2 overtime loss in Game 1 to the Washington Capitals, it was that the Bruins stayed disciplined and only took one minor penalty in the game.
Why was that positive? For the simple fact that the Capitals have one of the most lethal power play units in the NHL. Overall Washington is an offensive team that can be scary whether it’s 5-on-5 on the power play or heck, even shorthanded.
The only penalty that the Bruins took was a second-period cross-checking penalty called on defensemen Jeremy Lauzon, who gave the stick work to Alex Ovechkin along the boards. Boston was able to kill the penalty, with their top penalty-killing defensemen in the box to keep the deficit at 2-1 at the time of the call.
The Bruins need to stay disciplined in Game 2 tonight.
Already facing a 1-0 series deficit, it would be in the Black and Gold’s best interest to stay disciplined and avoid giving the Capitals power play opportunities.
The scary part is, Ovechkin, who likes to set up like the Bruins David Pastrnak for a one-time slap shot from the circle, does not even lead the Caps with power play goals. T.J. Oshie is the leader with 13 man-advantage goals and Ovechkin is second with nine and eight assists. Nicklas Backstrom had five goals and 17 power play assists.
Killing penalties has been the strength of Boston all season long and why not with veterans Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron as the first set of forwards who have combined for seven shorthanded goals? Overall, killing penalties at 86% is pretty impressive.
If the Bruins are to even the series as it shifts to Boston for Games 3 and 4 Wednesday and Friday nights (love the 6:30 p.m. start times too), staying disciplined is a big key in tonight’s game. Too many times this season Boston has racked up power plays for the other team because they were not disciplined. That can’t happen tonight. Stay disciplined all night long.