'Rankled' Bruins were fired up by Senators chirping at injured Krejci

'Rankled' Bruins were fired up by Senators chirping at injured Krejci

OTTAWA – The Bruins don’t know how long David Krejci will be out with an injury, but they know that the actions that took their playmaking center out of Game 5 helped fire them up for an eventual double-overtime win over the Ottawa Senators Friday night at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Krejci, playing in just his third game of the series after missing the first two with an upper body injury, was taken out with a knee-on-knee hit from defenseman Chris Wideman in the closing minutes of the first period. Krejci would need help to the B’s dressing room after being down on the ice for long moments, and apparently the actions of the Senators immediately afterward helped fire up the Bruins for the 3-2 comeback win in double-OT that will bring the series back to Boston for a Sunday afternoon matinee.


"I think with the hit on Krejci, when they started chirping Krejci, I think that rankled [the players] a little bit," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy following the game. "It's one thing to play hard, it's another thing -- here's a veteran guy in the NHL, a proven performer -- and a young kid starts lipping him.

“I think that really got to our guys, to be honest with you. It sort of turned the temperature up in the game from there on. That was a break for us in that regard. It's unfortunate as a break when you have to lose a player, but it got our attention and from there, I thought we were a pretty good team.”

It was unclear whether it was Wideman that was talking trash to Krejci after the hit or somebody else, but Zdeno Chara was part of the group that responded and converged on Wideman immediately after a hit that didn’t even merit a two-minute minor penalty from the referees.

Cassidy didn’t have much of an update on Krejci, who had zero points and three shots on net in three playoff games while looking like he was playing at less than 100 percent. One would expect Ryan Spooner would draw back into the lineup with the top-six center potentially out again this weekend.

"He'll be listed as day-to-day until I hear anything different," Cassidy said of Krejci. "I don't know right now. There's a lot going on out there. We'll see on [Saturday] morning."

So again list Krejci to the B’s walking wounded in this series that also includes Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Adam McQuaid for a depleted Bruins group that just seems to keep winning. 

Krug steps up as Bruins stars go down

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Krug steps up as Bruins stars go down

The Bruins have managed to take three of a possible six points since Zdeno Chara went down in the third period of last week's comeback win over the Carolina Hurricanes, and they've done it completely without their top pairing since Charlie McAvoy has also been out all this time.

There are a number of factors behind the ability to withstand the injuries, of course, and the entire defense corps was stellar at both ends in the shutout win over Tampa Bay last weekend.


But it's Torey Krug who's really stepped up his game. He had three assists and 15 shots on net in those three games, and was immense in the win over the Lightning.

Krug has surpassed the 50-point plateau for the second straight season, a major accomplishment for a defenseman who prides himself on his puck-moving and power-play work.

"You know, he has [stepped up]," coach Bruce Cassidy said of Krug, adding: "Torey is always going to get his numbers, but he's really added to it 5-on-5 . . . [It] was comforting to see that [without Chara and McAvoy] we shut out one of the best teams [in the NHL], at home, that was rested. You've got to take something out of that. It was one of 82 [games], but that was a real positive for our guys."

For Krug, the challenge of stepping up and being a leader in the team's time of need is the kind of thing he takes pride in responding to with an elevated level of play.

"I'm in the business of winning hockey games and helping my team win," said Krug. "It falls on my shoulders to produce some offense from the back end. And [when] we're missing a couple of guys from the back end that do that push the pace, then you've got to step up and make some plays. When you play with a lot of great players then you'll get your points, and you just need to worry about the defensive zone first.

"We're confident in everybody in this room. A lot of people think that the guys on our back end can't get the job done, so for us to step up [is a good thing]."


The biggest sign of Krug's increased responsibility? He topped 26 minutes of ice time in two of the three games since Chara was injured. Only once before, when he was on the ice for 27-plus minutes against the Rangers in early November, has he played more than that.

The loss of Chara and McAvoy has forced Krug to go above and beyond his normal range of duties and he's stepped up and embraced it. That's what good players on good teams do, and it's something Krug has consistently done in the big moments since arriving in Boston five years ago.


Erik Karlsson and wife Melinda mourn death of their son

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Erik Karlsson and wife Melinda mourn death of their son

The Ottawa Senators announced Tuesday that team captain Erik Karlsson and his wife Melinda lost their son one month before his due date.


"The collective thoughts and prayers of the Ottawa Senators organization, the city of Ottawa and entire hockey community rest with Erik and Melinda Karlsson following the loss of their son.

We ask that you respect the family's wishes for privacy during the grieving process."

The couple announced via Instagram in November that they were expecting, and the CBC reports the baby was due in April.

Sens head coach Guy Boucher spoke about the tragedy after Ottawa's game vs the Panthers on Tuesday (1:36 mark in video below).

Karlsson, a rumored Bruins target before the trade deadline, received heartfelt condolences from the hockey world on Twitter:

Our thoughts too go out to Erik and Melinda during this incredibly difficult time.