- Joe McDonald, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011 with a subpar power play. Actually, it was worse than subpar. It was essentially nonexistent.
That special-teams unit has been an area of focus for the Bruins, who have worked hard to improve their PP. That effort has been paying off in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Boston scored a pair of power-play goals in a span of 32 seconds early in the second period en route to a 4-2 win over the Montreal Canadiens in Game 5 of the second-round series Saturday night at TD Garden.
"I think our power play was due," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "After the first period, our power play was just average so we had a little chat and talked about bringing the intensity up there on our power play and winning more battles and making stronger plays. And it gave us obviously those two goals, which were huge for us, but as always and as a normal situation will tell you, you always like to play for the lead, and it was nice for us to have it and be able to hang onto it."
Overall, the Bruins are 8-for-28 on the PP this postseason.
"We were able capitalize on our power-play opportunities," said Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. "You know it's nice to see that we were creating some quality chances and were able to capitalize on that. It's always big to have strong specialty teams."
Boston had a 1-0 lead when it capitalized on the PP early in the second period.
The Bruins began the period with 1:44 remaining on a man-advantage and they converted when Reilly Smith scored at 1:04 to give Boston a 2-0 lead. Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton took a shot from the point, Smith redirected it and the puck trickled through the 5-hole on Montreal goalie Carey Price.
Only 26 seconds after Boston's second goal, Montreal's Tomas Plekanec was called for high-sticking. Boston needed only six seconds to score its second power-play goal for a 3-0 lead. The Bruins controlled the puck in the right corner when Torey Krug made a nifty backhand, cross-ice pass to Jarome Iginla, who beat Price at 1:46.
"Yeah it was a great pass," Iginla said. "I was just trying to sneak back and just hope that he would see me and I wasn't sure but he did and he threw it right on my tape."
The Bruins finished the regular season with the No. 3-ranked power play in the league, going 50-for-230.