The Boston Bruins couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to further rattle Vancouver Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo, chased a game prior after another lackluster effort.
Boston had three first-period power plays as Raffi Torres (tripping), Henrik Sedin (interference) and Andrew Alberts (roughing) went to the penalty box in the first 14:13 of regulation. The Bruins put six shots on net on those three changes on the extra man, just three more than the Canucks had shorthanded.
|Canucks-Bruins: Game 5|
| Brian Stubits
It's a truism from baseball to hockey. You aren't in trouble until you lose at home. Read >>
Julien further tweaked his power play --- something he’s done throughout both the regular season and playoffs --- to try to create a spark. He previously put 6-foot-9 defenseman Zdeno Chara in front of the Canucks, which failed to yield much success. In Game 5, he used rookie defenseman Steven Kampfer in attempt to be pest in front of Luongo.
“He’s done a pretty good job in front of the net and he certainly is good at tipping and, obviously, screening,” Julien said. “But, you know, I don't think we're capable of doing much with him in front because we weren't getting the set that we wanted to get in the offensive zone.”
Yes, the Bruins' entries into the zone with the extra man weren’t pretty. The Canucks stacked the blue line and the Bruins often never had a chance to set up and if they did, a hurried shot that was easily swallowed up by Luongo followed. Luongo, who had given up 12 goals in 58 shots in Games 3-4, hasn’t had a bad first period in the Finals and the Bruins – despite their power-play chances --- didn’t change that.
Seems to be a theme lately,” said Luongo, who finished with 31 saves for his second shutout of the Finals. “We have to have some big kills in the first period. “ I think it was four straight today or something like that. It was huge. Guys [were] blocking shots and everybody was on the same page. When we do that, it's easier for me to do my job.”
While the Canucks failed to produce on their three power-play chances on Friday to fall 1-for-25 in the series, the Bruins aren’t much better at 3-for-21. There doesn’t seem like there’s much else for the Julien to try, but at some point the Canucks seem to be the more likely team to break out of the slump and that could mean trouble in Game 6.
-- A.J. Perez