The Bruins’ slumping power play is starting to heat up ahead of Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Bruins have now scored six power-play goals in their last 13 bids this month.

Boston Bruins left wing Tyler Bertuzzi (59) celebrates after scoring to put the B’s up 2-0 during the second period. The Boston Bruins host the Washington Capitals on April 12, 2023 at TD Garden in Boston, MA.
Tyler Bertuzzi has scored two power-play goals this month. Barry Chin / Globe Staff)

A lethal power-play unit is not necessarily a requirement for a proven Stanley Cup contender.

The 2011 Bruins pushed back against such an assertion during their run to hockey immortality.

Armed with a 20th-ranked power play (16.2 percent) during the regular season, that roster outlasted the Canadiens, Flyers, Lightning, and Canucks while only cashing in on 10 of their 88 bids during postseason play. 

The 2022-23 Bruins are cut from a different cloth. Both rosters boast a layered, stingy defense, and top talent between the pipes. But with a 60-goal scorer like David Pastrnak stapled to the power play, Jim Montgomery’s team has the means to splinter PK units at a steady clip.


This is why an 11-for-92 slide over the span of 27 games was befuddling for a power-play unit that has planted itself near the top of the league in success rate over the last five years.

Even though the usual stalwarts like Pastrnak, Patrice Bergeron, and Brad Marchand remain entrenched on that 5v4 squad, telegraphed puck movement and sluggish entries have marred Boston’s ability to capitalize in the offensive zone in recent months.

But with the Stanley Cup Playoffs just days away, one of the few lingering concerns with this roster seems to be resolving.

Boston scored twice on the power play during Tuesday’s record-setting win over the Capitals, marking just the second time since Dec. 19 that Boston tallied two power-play goals in one contest.  

Since the start of April, the Bruins have cashed in on six of their last 13 power-play chances, operating at a 46.2 percent clip.

“I think they’re playing confidently,” Montgomery said Wednesday morning at Warrior Ice Arena. “The puck is moving quick. Bodies are moving and there’s a great convergence at the net. And then you couple that with I think our breakouts and entries have been really good here lately. 


“And that means you’re gonna get a lot of zone time if you’re doing those two things. We always win faceoffs, because we have Bergeron.” Boston has spread the wealth during this latest scoring surge, with Tyler Bertuzzi the lone Bruin to pot two power-play goals so far this month.

Most of the damage doled out by Boston’s power play usually comes in the form of one-timer cannons from Pastrnak.

But simplifying the playbook has paid dividends during this recent resurgence. Of those six goals in April, four have come from deflections, tips, and redirections from players planted near the crease. 

If opposing skaters look to clog up the slot to take away passing lanes, peppering the net and tasking netfront skaters like Bertuzzi or Jake DeBrusk to clean up the mess stands as an effective contingency plan. 

Ullmark absence precautionary 

Jim Montgomery assuaged concerns regarding the health of Linus Ullmark on Tuesday night, noting that his early exit against Washington was “precautionary”. 

Boston’s bench boss echoed the same sentiment on Wednesday morning after Ullmark did not take part in the Bruins’ final practice of the regular season.

“Linus is good today,” Montgomery said. “We’re going to be precautionary with him and he’s not going to be coming on the trip [to Montreal].


Ullmark left Tuesday’s game with 9:39 left in the third period, appearing to tweak something while sealing off the right post. Providence netminder Brandon Bussi was called up on an emergency basis Wednesday and practiced with the NHL roster. 

Montgomery has yet to name a starter for Thursday’s regular-season finale in Montreal, although his coaching staff is “leaning” toward Swayman for Game 82. 

Krejci gets green light for Game 1

Other than David Krejci and potentially Tomas Nosek (illness), the Bruins are not keeping any veterans home before flying up to Montreal.

Even though injured skaters Nick Foligno and Derek Forbort took part in Wednesday’s practice, Krejci once again remained off the frozen sheet at Warrior Ice Arena. 

But Montgomery doesn’t believe that Krejci — who will miss his sixth straight game on Thursday with a lower-body ailment — will remain on the shelf once the playoffs commence.

“He’s a playoff-only guy — that’s what he told me,” Montgomery said of Krejci. “He’ll be ready [for Game 1].”The Bruins haven’t been hampered by Krejci’s absence, with Boston outscoring opponents, 6-3, during the 66:33 of 5v5 ice time that a reworked second line of Pavel Zacha, Pastrnak, and Bertuzzi has logged together.

Still, getting a pivot with Krejci’s postseason credentials (42 goals, 124 points in 156 playoff games) back will further bolster a deep Bruins roster. 


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on