January 28, 2013

Postgame Breakdown: Krejci line carries B's past 'Canes

By Jesse Connolly

David Krejci (center) and Nathan Horton (right) each had a goal and an assist Monday. (Getty Images)

Final: Boston 5, Carolina 3

Recap: With a 1-0 lead already thanks a Brad Marchand shorty, the B’s went on the power play at 5:28 when Pat Dwyer went off for interfering with Patrice Bergeron. With Milan Lucic screening in front, a Zdeno Chara blast beat Cam Ward to make it 2-0.

Jamie McBain cut the lead in half with 5:10 left in the first, but Nathan Horton restored the Black and Gold’s two-goal edge with 4:08 to go in the middle frame. Unfortunately, the lead quickly vanished. Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal put pucks past Anton Khudobin 50 seconds apart, sending the game to the third tied 3-3.

That lasted until the two teams were 1:50 from overtime, as David Krejci potted what proved to be the winning strike. Tyler Seguin iced the 5-3 victory with an empty-netter at the 19:52 mark, picking up his first goal of the campaign in the process.

Records: Boston 4-0-1, nine points; Carolina 2-3-0, four points

Key Play of the Game: With the B’s pressing for the go-ahead goal late in the third, Horton hit the post before a loose puck found its way into traffic near the bottom of the circle to Ward’s left. Dougie Hamilton picked it up and alertly zipped it over to Krejci, who had a virtually empty net to fire at.

Connolly’s Commendations: The Lucic-Krejci-Horton line was in beast mode tonight. Krejci had the game-winner, a helper and won 8-of-12 faceoffs. Lucic had a game-high six hits, one of which was a crushing check in the corner on Eric Staal. Horton looks more dangerous by the day and came close multiple times to having a two-goal night.

The captain deserves a fair amount of credit for this win, too. Chara led the way with a three-point night, notching the power-play goal and picking up two assists. That gives No. 33 five points through five games.

Connolly’s Critiques: Another ho-hum night for the third line. Chris Bourque just missed scoring on a shot that went inches wide in the third and Rich Peverley put five pucks on net (and fared well on faceoffs), but – along with Chris Kelly – the trio were collectively minus-3 and have just two points combined through five tilts.

Notes: Boston outshot Carolina 18-8 in the third period. Adam McQuaid missed the game due to personal reasons and was replaced on the back-end by Aaron Johnson. Seguin’s empty-netter came on the power play, helping Boston triple their scoring output on the man advantage for the season, as they’re now 3-for-21 (14.3 percent).

Final Thoughts: It’s not often we see the B’s blow a two-goal lead as quickly as they did in the second period but, to their credit, they responded by dominating the final frame and got the well-deserved two points.

Next: The Bruins will be back in Boston to take on the Devils (3-0-1) on Tuesday night.

Twitter: @JesseNEHJ
Email: jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com