Bruins’ offense is absent vs. Kraken: ‘It just seems like nothing goes in’



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BOSTON — David Pastrnak was feeling it on Thursday.

Every time the Boston Bruins right wing touched the puck, he was a threat to generate a scoring chance. Pastrnak unloaded seven pucks on net. He had 14 all-situations attempts. Pastrnak scored the Bruins’ only goal after Seattle’s Jamie Oleksiak accidentally put the puck over the line following a close-quarters shot.

Chances do not turn into goals. Especially when a hot goalie is in net.

Joey Daccord, who hails from North Andover, turned back 36 of 37 shots for the Seattle Kraken. The hometown puck-stopper made his most athletic and timely save in the third period. Naturally, it was on Pastrnak.

The Bruins’ top scorer received the puck from Charlie McAvoy and put a close-range shot on net from the right faceoff dot. Daccord dove to his left and denied Pastrnak with a glove stop. 

“He definitely came up big for them,” Pastrnak said of Daccord after the Bruins’ 4-1 loss. “There’s no doubt. Especially after the first goal. Maybe it’s a little shaky for the goalie. I don’t know how it went in. But he bounced back and it was a good game for him. We had plenty of opportunities to score. But we either didn’t capitalize or he was there.”

Daccord had local company. Hingham’s Matty Beniers scored a goal and two assists to lead Seattle’s offense. 

“You get those chances earlier in the year and it seems like everything goes in,” said ex-Kraken Morgan Geekie. “The stretch we’ve had, we haven’t been playing the way we’re used to playing. We’re still getting good opportunities. It just seems like nothing goes in. Obviously it’s tough to stay calm and collected in those situations. It’s definitely frustrating.”

According to Natural Stat Trick, the Bruins were expected to score 4.18 all-situations goals based on their shot quality and quantity. But the Bruins have skidded into a stretch in which their looks are not producing anything. They have lost four of their last five games. They have four goals in those losses.

Such is the time when coaches ask their players for greasy goals — a puck off a body, a strike through traffic. The Bruins didn’t get any of those against the Kraken.

“It’s going to take some sandpaper goals, where it goes off of us or other stuff,” coach Jim Montgomery said. “That didn’t happen. We had incredible looks. We hit posts. Those things happen.”

Coaches also want their defensemen to raise their hands for offensive contributions when the forwards’ sniffs turn up nothing. Brandon Carlo may be limited in terms of pace-pushing play. But he is usually eager to support the attack, just like he was in the second period, when he accepted the puck at the top of the offensive zone.

But Carlo got his feet tangled up, hit the deck and coughed up the puck. It gave Seattle a three-on-one rush against Brad Marchand. The left wing is an excellent defensive player. But he does not excel at skating backward and defending rushes. So it was easy for Beniers and Eeli Tolvanen to play give-and-go at full speed. Beniers’ pump fake got Jeremy Swayman leaning to his right. Swayman had no chance to recover for Tolvanen’s shot from the other side.

“That’s a physical thing,” Montgomery said of Carlo’s tumble. “People are going to fall on the ice. It’s slippery.”

Montgomery is searching for offensive solutions other than Pastrnak. Trent Frederic got a first-line ride with Marchand and Charlie Coyle. Anthony Richard, the No. 3 right wing next to Geekie and James van Riemsdyk, made his third straight appearance. Montgomery rolled out his usual fourth line of Danton Heinen, Jesper Boqvist and Oskar Steen.

Frederic had one shot on net. So did Richard. The fourth line combined for four shots. 

“The last two games, the results are not what we want,” Montgomery said. “But we’re playing the right way. You keep playing the right way, you believe in the process. Things are going to turn around. It just usually does.”

(Photo of Seattle’s Matty Beniers and Boston’s Charlie Coyle and Brad Marchand: Winslow Townson / Getty Images)





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