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Bruins, Capitals seek more offense

The Bruins kept shooting and shooting on Thursday night. The problem was, the Capitals kept blocking and blocking. Even on Chris Kelly’s game-winning goal, the shot deflected off Dennis Wideman’s stick before beating goalie Braden Holtby. The Capitals blocked 22 of the Bruins’ 62 attempted shots in Game 1, protecting their rookie goalie well in his first playoff start. It’s something the Capitals have not been known for throughout the season; with Tomas Vokoun or Michal Neuvirth in net, Washington’s defenders would let the goalies see the puck and try to kick-start their counterattack. But Vokoun and Neuvirth are injured, so the strategy changed. Now the Bruins will have to reconsider theirs in today’s Game 2. “We have to make adjustments,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “The one thing that they did well, to their credit, is I thought they did a lot of shot blocking, more than I’ve seen them do in the past. But that’s playoff hockey, right? You see guys get out of their comfort zone and do things that they don’t always do during the regular season and I thought they did a great job of that. “So we’ve played teams that enjoy blocking shots and we’ve just got to make sure that we’re capable of getting those shots through and finding those open lanes so they can make it to the net.” The Bruins got 30 shots through on Holtby, but only had four after the second period, including Kelly’s winner 1:18 into overtime. Late in the game, the offense became more one-on-one oriented. It’s possible they could try more of a dump-and-chase philosophy today, but that has its drawbacks if they can’t win the race to the puck. “I think if we chase the puck and get there first, we get to feel pretty confident that we can hold onto it as much as we can,” said Daniel Paille, part of a fourth line that too often got pinned in its own end in Game 1. “When you give them time in their zone, they’re a skilled defensive group there. If you give those guys time it’ll be hard for us to get the puck back. So I think for us it’s to maintain that pressure.” Deflecting pucks could also be a point of emphasis. For much of the night, especially late, the Bruins lacked the net-front presence needed to get ugly goals. Paille said they got the shots they wanted, but there were “just little things we need to do better in front of the net.” The Bruins kept shooting and shooting on Thursday night. The problem was, the Capitals kept blocking and blocking. Even on Chris Kelly’s game-winning goal, the shot deflected off Dennis Wideman’s stick before beating goalie Braden Holtby. The Capitals blocked 22 of the Bruins’ 62 attempted shots in Game 1, protecting their rookie goalie well in his first playoff start. It’s something the Capitals have not been known for throughout the season; with Tomas Vokoun or Michal Neuvirth in net, Washington’s defenders would let the goalies see the puck and try to kick-start their counterattack. But Vokoun and Neuvirth are injured, so the strategy changed. Now the Bruins will have to reconsider theirs in today’s Game 2. “We have to make adjustments,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “The one thing that they did well, to their credit, is I thought they did a lot of shot blocking, more than I’ve seen them do in the past. But that’s playoff hockey, right? You see guys get out of their comfort zone and do things that they don’t always do during the regular season and I thought they did a great job of that. “So we’ve played teams that enjoy blocking shots and we’ve just got to make sure that we’re capable of getting those shots through and finding those open lanes so they can make it to the net.” The Bruins got 30 shots through on Holtby, but only had four after the second period, including Kelly’s winner 1:18 into overtime. Late in the game, the offense became more one-on-one oriented. It’s possible they could try more of a dump-and-chase philosophy today, but that has its drawbacks if they can’t win the race to the puck. “I think if we chase the puck and get there first, we get to feel pretty confident that we can hold onto it as much as we can,” said Daniel Paille, part of a fourth line that too often got pinned in its own end in Game 1. “When you give them time in their zone, they’re a skilled defensive group there. If you give those guys time it’ll be hard for us to get the puck back. So I think for us it’s to maintain that pressure.” Deflecting pucks could also be a point of emphasis. For much of the night, especially late, the Bruins lacked the net-front presence needed to get ugly goals. Paille said they got the shots they wanted, but there were “just little things we need to do better in front of the net.” When shots did find their way through, Holtby made the saves. The Bruins had never faced him before, but Benoit Pouliot – who assisted on Kelly’s goal – said they didn’t pick up any new information on Holtby, although it’s possible he just didn’t want to let the scouting report leak out. “He didn’t really look too nervous,” Pouliot added. “It’s good for him. He jumped right in there and made awesome saves all game long. For a guy that only has 18 starts in the league, it’s good for him. We got to keep putting pucks on net.” The Bruins did that for the first two periods Thursday. They got the game’s first four shots on net, and controlled much of the middle period. But that went away in the third period, and they were bailed out by Tim Thomas’ clutch saves and Kelly’s shot off Wideman. “Obviously we’d like to maybe be a little bit better offensively and create a little bit more, which I thought we did early in the game,” Julien said. “But I thought it kind of faded away so that’s the area that we hope to maybe improve a little bit more on and that will maybe be the offensive part – the goal scoring and being able to finish on our chances.” Walking on broken glass A bizarre post-game incident in which David Krejci was hit in the back by a pane of glass will not keep the Boston center out today. As the Bruins celebrated around the net after Kelly’s overtime goal, the fans pounded on the glass and knocked the pane onto the ice and into Krejci. Krejci was hit in the back and had a sore neck. He was kept off the ice for practice yesterday, but Julien said Krejci could have practiced and will play today. “He’s fine,” Julien said. “The glass fell on him yesterday, as everyone saw. He was a little bit stiff in the neck area this morning. He was scheduled to skate and I talked to the trainer. Together we came to terms that it’d be better if he stayed off. He’ll feel even better tomorrow. It was not that hard of a skate and he’s scheduled to play tomorrow – it really is not that big of an issue, although it seems to be right now, but he’s fine.” Krejci – who also had stitches above his upper lip from a high stick by Washington’s Jay Beagle last night – said he was not tested for a concussion. “I got a little sore neck,” Krejci said. “Other than that, I’m good and I’ll play tomorrow.” (Dan Cagen can be reached at 508-626-3848 or . Follow him on Twitter @DanCagen.)

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