Talking Points: Krejci, Bruins power play bounce back in win
As bad as David Krejci was over the weekend against the Rangers, he was that much better against the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. Krejci scored his first goal of the season in the 12th game of the year, and it’s no coincidence that the Bruins offensive surge happened concurrently with the playmaking center finding his offense. The goal was a point blast off a feed from Torey Krug, and it marked just his fifth point of the season. Krejci finished with a team-high five shots on net and 10 shot attempts overall while playing solidly for 19:30 of ice time. While he broke through on the PP, there were a couple of long, puck-possession shifts for that line leading up to the goal and providing evidence that the goal was about to happen for No. 46.
Derek Grant took three penalties for the Sabres including a move attempting to pile drive Tuukka Rask into the ice third period, and an interference call that precipitated a fight with Matt Beleskey as well. David Pastrnak and the Bruins scored on that ensuing power play to ice the game with their fourth goal of the evening, and Buffalo make pay for basically having three players that took multiple penalties in a fairly undisciplined game. Grant ended up winning the fight decision over Beleskey in the third, so I guess he has that going for him.
The second period has been Boston’s Achilles heel for much of the season, but it was an unquestioned strength against the Sabres after a scoreless opening 20 minutes. They poured in three goals, including a couple of power play strikes, and outshot the Sabres by a 15-5 margin while wrestling control of the game away from Buffalo. The first PP goal for the Bruins was the tone-setter, a hard-working, blue collar effort from the second power play unit that saw Matt Beleskey, David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand all grinding in front of the net before the B’s agitator finally snapped one through a Beleskey screen in front of the net. Then the Bruins were awarded a 5-on-3 advantage thanks to some discipline lapses from the Sabres, and the Black and Gold were off and running.
Tuukka Rask finished with his second shutout of the season while making 32 stops for the Bruins, and making big stops early before the Sabres began cranking up the offense in the second period. One note of caution, however: Rask still looks like he’s playing through pain, and he slammed down his stick after making a save on Brian Gionta in the second period that clearly looked to be out of frustration with the pain he’s dealing with. That might make his availability for tomorrow night vs. Montreal very questionable indeed. With the shutout, Rask takes over third place on Bruins franchise history in the shutouts category by passing Tim Thomas with the 32nd shutout of his Boston career. Thomas’ bunker could not be reached for comment about the momentous occasion.
BY THE NUMBERS
3 – the number of power play goals scored by the Bruins on Monday night is equal to the three PP goals they struggled to score in the first 11 games of the season.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“We were moving the puck well and moving our feet. We didn’t really stand in one spot. We were moving all over the ice. We had some good scoring chances, and we had three goals. That was a big power play night for us. Hopefully we’ve got some more in the bag, especially for tomorrow [vs. Montreal]” - David Krejci on the Bruins power play