Chara Provides Power Play Potential
The Boston Bruins gave the fans at TD Garden plenty to be happy about Monday night with a fight-infested 3-2 overtime victory over the Washington Capitals. The shining light for the Bruins was, without a doubt, the power play, which scored twice in regulation leading up to Chris Kelly’s overtime winner.
The power play has been a point of emphasis for the Bruins this preseason, finishing the shortened 2012-2013 season ranked 26th in power play percentage, converting on just 14.8% of their opportunities.
Monday brought along more optimism in turning that stat around. The Bruins were 2-5 with the man advantage on Monday with both goals coming from captain Zdeno Chara.
The Bruins captain has been one of the focal points towards improving the Black and Gold’s effectiveness with the extra skater.
Chara showed his versatility during his first power play goal, posting up in front of the net using his size to blind Washington goalie Braden Holtby and tipping Dennis Seidenberg’s shot into the twine.
“I think there’s a lot more qualities in Zdeno in front than people think,” said Head Coach Claude Julien of his star defenseman. “I know people see the size of him for a screen but he does more things than that to be valuable in front.”
While the 6-foot-9 defender may be showing off his skill set in front of the net more often, it has not taken away from his shot.
Chara would tack on his second power play goal of the night with a 5-on-3 advantage; this time while working the point with Dennis Seidenberg.
“No matter where it is, I like to compete in those areas,” said Chara. “How ever the coaching staff decides to use me, I’m fine with that.”
The Bruins have scored 15 goals thus far in five preseason games, seven of those have come on the power play. A large part in that success, along with Chara’s net-front presence, has been derived from the chemistry between Milan Lucic, Jarome Iginla, and David Krejci.
“We just need to stay sharp and keep working on it in practice,” said Lucic. “I think the best thing is our puck movement is a lot better, I think there’s confidence in making those good passes.”
Those good passes were clearly evident in both power plays. First behind the net and along the boards that set up Seidenberg’s shot and the Chara deflection; then along the perimeter before the 5-on-3 goal.
The Bruins outshot the Capitals 38-14…Ten fighting majors were given and Joel Rechlicz and Dane Byers each received 10-minute game misconducts for Washington… Ryan Spooner led all Bruins forwards with 4 shots on net in 16:08 played…Tuukka Rask played a full game in net recording 12 saves… David Warsofsky, Craig Cunningham and Mike Moore have all been cut and sent to Providence Bruins training camp.