Boston Bruins boss mentions Four areas Bruins must improve after a 3:2 loss to Maple Leafs

The series is deadlocked, and the action will shift to Toronto for Games 3 and 4 later this week.
BOSTON — For the second consecutive year, the Bruins followed a Game 1 victory in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a disappointing effort in Game 2.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were the more desperate team Monday night at TD Garden, and they got a well-deserved 3-2 win. The series is now deadlocked at one win apiece, with Game 3 set for Wednesday night in Toronto.

The Bruins had a chance to win Game 2 owing to Linus Ullmark’s outstanding performance in net, as he made 30 saves in his first game of the series.

The Bruins also added another power-play goal. However, they made far too many mistakes, and a talented club like the Leafs will almost always make you pay.
“I don’t think we’ve played anywhere near as good as we can,” Bruins forward David Pastrnak said after Game 2.

How can the Bruins find their finest 60-minute performance in Toronto later this week? Here are four essential areas for improvement.

5-on-5 scoring production.
The Bruins have scored seven goals in this series, including Trent Frederic’s empty-net goal at the end of Game 1. Almost half of those goals—three in total—have been scored on the power play. While the power play’s resurgence—

Two goals in Game 1 and another in Game 2 are certainly hopeful signs for the Bruins, but the lack of 5-on-5 production is a concern.
Jake DeBrusk, Pavel Zacha, Brad Marchand, and Charlie Coyle have no 5-on-5 goals after two games. Only four Bruins players have taken more than two 5-on-5 shots in two games, including defenseman Brandon Carlo.

The Bruins only scored one 5-on-5 goal on Monday. Near the end of the first period, Zacha delivered a brilliant no-look pass that set up a David Pastrnak one-timer. Boston was unable to generate anything at 5-on-5 for the remainder of the game. During 14:29 of 5-on-5 action in the third period, the B’s had only two shots and two scoring chances.

period. That’s not good enough, especially since they trailed with 7:54 left following Auston Matthews’ game-winning goal. Based on the number and quality of their scoring chances in Game 2, the Bruins were anticipated to score only 1.86 5-on-5 goals, according to Natural Stat Trick.

Why are the Bruins not creating enough quality scoring opportunities?

“I think it’s a function of (the Leafs) defending well,” Montgomery said after the game. “It’s also because we aren’t playing quickly enough. We’re slow in transition, which means we can’t possess pucks or get them on the forecheck.

The Leafs aren’t a defensive powerhouse. Even though Ilya Samsonov performed well in Game 2, he is one of the least reliable goaltenders.

The Bruins cannot rely on their power play to provide the majority of their offense. That is hardly a recipe for winning six or seven games in a row. The 5-on-5 scoring production needs to increase significantly.

Defending the slot in front of the net.
Throughout the regular season, the Bruins struggled to defend the front of their net, and it has continued in this series.

Boston began the scoring in the first period, but their lead lasted only 14 seconds as Max Domi quickly equalized for Toronto. The Leafs won a pair of puck battles leading up to this goal, with Domi pouncing on a rebound to Ullmark’s right.

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