Final count 0 for 21 on power play
The Bruins survived one round with a dormant power play. It is unlikely they can pull a similar trick against the Philadelphia Flyers.
After an 0-for-2 effort last night on the man-advantage — effort being a generous term — the Bruins concluded their seven-game series against the Canadiens with a most glaring blemish: 0 for 21.
Through six games, the power play proved to be good for nothing — no goals, neither for nor against. Last night, the power play cost the Bruins a goal.
At 4:41 of the second, Lars Eller was sent off for cross-checking Zdeno Chara. But a misplay by Dennis Seidenberg and Mark Recchi led to a tying goal.
During a neutral-zone regroup, Seidenberg dropped a pass to Recchi. Recchi had to fish for the puck, and never got it settled on his stick. That slight bobble was all Tomas Plekanec needed. He took the puck away from Recchi, then hurtled in on Tim Thomas for a shorthanded breakaway. Plekanec wristed a shot high blocker on Thomas at 5:50 to make it 2-2.
Philadelphia will be licking its chops to get at Boston’s power play. During the regular season, the Flyers scored 13 shorthanded goals, second most in the league behind the Islanders (15). Claude Giroux and Mike Richards, Philadelphia’s two best forwards, each netted three shorties.
If the regular season trend continues into the playoffs, the Bruins will be going on the power play. The Flyers averaged 13.6 penalty minutes per game.
For the most part, the Bruins survived the loss of Marc Savard. The ace playmaker, limited to 25 games because of his struggles with concussions, had only two goals and eight assists this season. The Bruins leaned on David Krejci and Patrice Bergeron to assume the bulk of the offense.
This season, Savard recorded only 4 power-play points (all assists).
Even after Savard suffered another concussion when Matt Hunwick slammed him into the glass Jan. 22, the Bruins believed they had man-advantage alternatives. They pulled the trigger on acquiring Tomas Kaberle Feb. 28 by trading away Joe Colborne and their 2011 first-round pick. They believed they had landed the power-play specialist they had been missing.
They were wrong.
Last night, the Bruins broke up Kaberle and Chara. Kaberle manned the point with Johnny Boychuk. They were joined by Bergeron, Recchi, and Rich Peverley up front. Chara skated with Seidenberg on another unit. Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Michael Ryder were the forwards.
During the regular season, Kaberle recorded only three power-play assists for the Bruins. After his arrival, the Bruins went 6 for 55 on the power play (10.9 percent).
Kaberle is an unrestricted free agent. Given his lack of offensive contributions, the Bruins would have to ask him to assume a pay cut ($4.25 million annual cap hit) in an extension.
Kelly comes through Chris Kelly scored three goals in the first round, including what the Bruins briefly believed was the winning goal in the third.
Kelly, the left wing on the No. 3 line, started the play by dumping Roman Hamrlik in the neutral zone. Hamrlik stayed down, trying to draw a penalty. Then after Andrew Ference put a close-range shot on goal that Carey Price turned back, Kelly swooped in and backhanded the rebound home at 9:44.
Kelly finished with three shots in 17:16 of ice time.
“He’s adapted so well,’’ said coach Claude Julien. ’’Not only has he been good production-wise, but he’s such a reliable player. He does all the little things right. It’s not very often you see him make a mistake that turns into a scoring chance for the other team.’’
Lucic in lineup As expected, the league did not tag Milan Lucic with supplemental discipline for his boarding major on Jaroslav Spacek in Game 6. Lucic was in the lineup last night, with Krejci and Horton on the first line. In 21:01 of ice time, Lucic had three shots and four hits, and assisted on the winning goal . . . The Bruins get a couple of days to prepare for the Flyers. Game 1 is Saturday at Philadelphia (3 p.m., Ch. 7). Game 2 is Monday in Philadelphia, then the series shifts to Boston for Game 3 (Wednesday) and Game 4 (Friday, May 6). If the series goes to a fifth game, the Bruins and Flyers play again on NBC (Channel 7, 3 p.m.), Sunday, May 8 at Philadelphia.