What we learned: Bruins lackluster in loss to Predators
With a chance to secure a winning road trip on their season high six-game road trip, the Bruins came out completely flat and couldn’t recover against a Predators team who, like the Bruins, are desperate for points.
As has been the case against the majority of the teams from the Western Conference this season, the Bruins were completely outmatched. The Black and Gold were a step behind all night and struggled to get any momentum going.
Despite a bit of a late third period surge, the Bruins couldn’t get any rubber past a struggling Pekka Rinne. Here are a few things that we learned from last night as the Bruins were shutout for the second time this season.
First period dooms Bruins
Just 2:51 into the first, poor puck possession in their own end put the Bruins behind as Craig Smith’s 13th of the season gave the Predators the early lead. Just under 12 minutes later, Filip Forsberg extended the lead to two and the Bruins couldn’t recover from there.
The B’s had one of their worst periods of the season in the opening 20 Thursday night and couldn’t seem to find any momentum in the game’s final two frames. Despite only being outshoot 13-10 in the first, the Predators were on an entirely different level.
Power play continues to struggle
On a night where the Bruins needed any help they could get, their now ice cold power play was no help. Failing to score on all four of their chances with the man advantage, the Bruins looked lost and couldn’t generate many scoring chances.
The Bruins have scored just once on the man advantage in the last six games and have failed to score on their last 19 power plays. What was once a dangerous weapon for Claude Julien and company is now a sore sport for a Bruins team who needs every point they can earn.
Rough night for Jimmy Hayes
His first season as a Boston Bruin hasn’t been the best of seasons for the Dorchester native and in Thursday’s loss, his rough season continued. Hayes took back-to-back penalties in the second period –slashing and hooking — and killed any sort of momentum the Bruins may have had. Hayes finished a minus-one and did not have a shot on goal while earning 12:37 of ice time.
The former Boston College product has 12 goals and 25 assists on the season, but has been very inconsistent throughout the season. As the Bruins continue to look for more depth scoring, they hope Hayes can heat up and stay hot as the battle for playoff positioning in the East continues.