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What Went Right: Movement on the Power Play

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David Backes’ power play goal proved to be the difference in yesterday’s 4-1 win over the Lightning.

St. Louis Blues v Boston Bruins Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

What went right/wrong is a breakdown of a game-changing play from the Bruins' win or loss from the night before. It may not always be the most obvious or most highlight-worthy play, but it's always a play that put the Bruins a step closer to (or further away from) a win.


In a critical home game after dropping 4 games in their last 5, the Bruins deservedly beat the Tampa Bay Lightning, 4-1. While Dominic Moore’s goal broke a streak of 2 games where David Pastrnak was the only goal scorer, it was ultimately David Backes’ power play goal that ended up being not only the game winner, but a difference maker in the B’s victory.

This was the Bruins only power play of the game and with a 1-0 lead, the bout was already incredibly physical. While the power play unit came into yesterday’s game ranked just 21st in the NHL, clicking at a 15.2% pace, capitalizing on it helped put the Black and Gold on top. Tampa Bay had the 10th ranked penalty kill at 84.5% entering Sunday afternoon’s meeting.

It starts after Torey Krug and David Krejci exchange passes. By having Krejci move to the goal line and Krug take his place on the point, it compresses the area of play much closer to the net, making quick passes easier to make, in turn, harder to defend, and shots much faster on goal.

This pass from Ryan Spooner to Krejci on the other side of the goal line forces every Lightning penalty killer to turn their heads and bodies completely to Krejci on the right side with the puck. In any case, it opened a few different chances to score: a backdoor pass back to Spooner, a David Backes forehand tip in front, or even a low angle shot for Krejci himself where someone else could crash the net for a rebound.

It was this critical mistake from Ryan Callahan that helped Krejci make his decision. By Callahan drifting so far into the corner to try and swipe the puck away from Krejci, it created the perfect shooting lane for Torey Krug. Krejci waited until the last possible moment to sauce the puck Krug’s way to give the defenseman as much time as he needed to get a good shot off.

With Callahan scrambling to get back into defensive coverage, it leaves perfect screen opportunities for both Patrice Bergeron and David Backes. Valtteri Filppula can’t effectively move Bergeron out of Krug’s shooting lane and Backes effectively places his stick around Jason Garrison’s body as the puck comes flying through the locked-up pair. Both end up tipping the biscuit on its way through Ben Bishop to bulge the twine and put the Bruins up for good.