BOSTON (CBS) -- The Boston Bruins went 0-for-3 on the power play in their Game 1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. It was merely a continuation of a wretched stretch with the man advantage, as the Bruins went through an 0-for-39 stretch on the power play late in the season. That drought dropped them down to 15th in the NHL with a 21.2 percent success rating on the man advantage. The issues extended beyond that notable drought, too, as the Bruins had the 29th-ranked power play from March 1 through the end of the regular season.
Yet the special teams unit was particularly futile on Monday night, going from four shots on goal on their first power play, to two shots on goal on their second power play, to zero shots on goal on their third power play, a stretch where the Bruins badly needed a goal to cut the two-goal deficit but struggled to even gain entry into the Carolina zone. Hurricanes penalty killers generated three shots on goal the other way during Boston's three power plays.
After the 5-1 loss, Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said it's up to the players on the ice to "take ownership" of the issues and fix them.
"It's been a challenge for us, the last month on the power play. And those guys have to take a little more ownership of it. Those are our top guys, so hopefully they'll be better at it Wednesday," Cassidy said.
Of course, these struggles came against the NHL's best penalty killing unit, with the Canes killing off 88 percent of opposing power plays. Cassidy said he recognizes that reality but nevertheless expects more from his power play. At the very least, the power play can't lose momentum, as it did in the third period on Monday.
"We can't rely on our power play against the number one PK, but it does have to give us some juice," Cassidy said, noting some near-misses on the earlier power plays that could have changed the game. "We do have to get some life from it. Just because they're the best PK doesn't mean we can't score. And we've done it in years past in the playoffs, and it certainly could be a weapon if we get it going."
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