'Canes generate clear advantage; Boston dominated on power play.


Byline: Bud Barth

COLUMN: Bruins Notes

BOSTON - When they're killing off penalties with their usual ease, the Bruins don't need an overpowering power play.

But on a day like yesterday, with Carolina scoring on all three of its extra-man situations, an 0-for-4 line on the Boston side stands out like Conan O'Brien's pompadour.

The Bruins are a middle-of-the-pack team on the power play, their 16.7 percent success rate ranking 15th among the NHL's 30 teams after yesterday's poor showing. They've been downright putrid at home lately, converting just 3 of 27 chances (11 percent) over their last seven games at TD Garden.

Coach Claude Julien had a hard time swallowing yesterday's special-teams mismatch, calling it "unacceptable." He especially pointed to the Bruins' failure to get a single shot on goal on their first two power plays in the second period.

"The power play's supposed to, if they don't score, (at least) give you momentum," Julien said. "Although at the end it got a little better, when we really needed it in the second period, we didn't make good plays. Your best players should be able to execute and make tape-to-tape passes, and that wasn't happening."

Third strike

The third-period magic that rallied Boston from a 1-0 deficit to a 3-1 victory in Florida on Wednesday night vanished yesterday.

Even with Carolina scoring a third-period goal, the Bruins remain the NHL's best team over the final 20 minutes. They have outscored opponents in that period, 26-10. Only Vancouver (1.33) is averaging more goals in the third than Boston (1.30), and the 10 goals allowed are the fewest in the league. The next-best team, Columbus, had allowed 13 going into yesterday's action.

In just one...

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