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Penalty Kill Prowess

B's PK still perfect after 2-1 SO win over Winnipeg

Monday, 01.21.2013 / 6:24 PM ET / Features
By Eric Russo  - BostonBruins.com
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Penalty Kill Prowess

BOSTON, MA – Since Claude Julien took over as head coach of the Bruins prior to the 2007-08 season, the Black & Gold has prided itself on playing well defensively and having a strong penalty kill. They peaked during the 2009-10 season, when they ranked third in the league in penalty kill percentage (86.4).

Over the past two seasons, while the B’s have still been a solid penalty killing team, they have dipped to 15th (82.6% in 2010-11) and 11th (83.5% in 2011-12). Two games into the shortened 2012-13 campaign, the Bruins have killed off all nine penalties called against them, putting them atop the league in that category.

In the season opener against the Rangers, Boston was a perfect five for five, including killing off two five-on-threes. Their shorthanded strength was on display again today during the B’s 2-1 shootout win over the Winnipeg Jets, in front of 17,565 at TD Garden.

Boston was four of four on the PK, the last two kills coming at the most critical part of the game - overtime.

“That’s what made the difference today,” said head coach Claude Julien, of the two overtime kills. “I thought our penalty kill has been good the first two games, five-on-three the last game against the Rangers, and then two four-on-threes today.

“Especially in overtime, to have to kill that to finish the game, our guys did a great job. The two D’s that were out there, but also [Patrice Bergeron] and [Chris Kelly] switching out front. They were breaking up a bunch of plays once they got over the blue line.

“Again, probably a good reason why we’re sitting here today with a win.”

Johnny Boychuk was called for a high stick with just 1:11 remaining in regulation, leaving a combination of Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille, Zdeno Chara, Andrew Ference, Brad Marchand, and Bergeron to get the game to OT.

And that’s what they did. Forty-nine seconds remained on the Boychuk penalty heading into the extra session.

In overtime, Bergeron was able to generate a shorthanded break but was denied by Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. The rush took a huge chunk of time off the penalty, though, essentially killing it all together.

The B’s found themselves back on the PK with 1:28 to go in overtime. This time, a questionable holding penalty on Chara left the Black & Gold without their best penalty killer.

No worries. Bergeron and Kelly each came up with huge clears to cap off another perfect night of shorthanded work.

The most amazing part of their penalty killing prowess? The B’s did not allow a shot in the overtime, despite being shorthanded for nearly half of the extra session.

“It’s important that we do a good job on the PK, especially in overtime like that,” said Bergeron, who scored in the shootout. “You know, it happened twice and we found a way. So let’s give credit to everyone that was on the ice, but also [Tuukka Rask] he made some great saves for us. You need to make sure you bear down and I think everybody on the ice did that.”

Rask, who was tested on the PK once late in regulation but otherwise had a front row seat for the penalty killing show, was impressed.

“It’s really the situation you want out there,” he said, of being able to rely on the penalty kill. “Our PK has been tremendous throughout the years I’ve been in the organization.”

No. 37 credited Julien for coming up with the right schemes to have a successful penalty kill and also pointed to communication as being a key to success.

“I think we all know where to be, we communicated out on the ice,” said Bergeron. “I think coach also does a great job to make it more black and white. It’s about instincts and just making sure you do the right plays.”

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ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
2 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
3 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
4 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
5 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
6 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
7 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
8 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
P. Bergeron 80 32 36 12 68
L. Eriksson 82 30 33 13 63
D. Krejci 72 17 46 4 63
B. Marchand 77 37 24 21 61
R. Spooner 80 13 36 -9 49
T. Krug 81 4 40 9 44
M. Beleskey 80 15 22 6 37
Z. Chara 80 9 28 12 37
J. Hayes 75 13 16 -12 29
D. Pastrnak 51 15 11 3 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
T. Rask 31 22 8 .915 2.56
J. Gustavsson 11 9 1 .908 2.72
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