Krejci dangles for the OT winner, B's beat Canes 3-2
(Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
David Krejic saved the Bruins' bacon at the Garden Saturday afternoon.
Krejci beat Cam Ward on a highlight-reel move 1:28 into overtime to secure the extra point for Boston and register their 15th win on the year. Johnny Boychuck held the puck long enough in the neutral zone to find Jarome Iginla right across the blueline, where he split the defense and dropped a pass to Krejci, who deked out the diving Cam Ward and flipped the puck into the open net.
Andrej Sekera got the Canes on the board first on the powerplay just five minutes into the game, launching a shot from the blueline which found its way past Chad Johnson. The assists went to Jeff Skinner and Eric Staal. Zdeno Chara tied the game with his fourth on the season, also on the powerplay, with a doorstep putback off a Milan Lucic wrister in the slot. The other assist went to Torey Krug, as he played a quick deflection tip to Lucic just inside the blueline. This is something we've seen a ton of this year from the B's: planting Chara in front of the net on the powerplay. Its yieleded great results, as all four of his goals have been on the PP. Reilly Smith put the B's in front in the second at 13:31 of the second, after some great work by the third line. Matt Bartkowski pinched-in from the blueline, helping Chris Kelly in his battle in the corner. Bartkowski got the puck to Carl Soderberg, who's shot got blocked in front by a skate. Smith swooped in and pulled the puck towards the post and got the backhand past Cam Ward.
The B's gave up the lead off a sloppy turnover from Lucic and Krug, where Lucic's pass was behind Krug, who went too far past his line. Patrick Dwyer took the puck off the boards and barreled towards Chad Johnson, beating him on the backhand.
It looked grim, as for the second game in a row it seemed the B's were going to drop points at home as a result from a few bad mistakes.
Yet in OT, Krejci nailed the game-winner with some real fancy stickwork. Much of the credit should go to Boychuck and Iginla, who both played a huge part in making the sequence play out, with Boychuck being patient and Iginla being aggressive.
The B's now have 15 wins and 32 points on the season, keeping them in first place in the Atlantic, and two points ahead of the Penguins for the conference lead.
The B's next game is home versus the Penguins, where it will be determined who holds first place in the conference going through Thanksgiving week.
Milan Lucic took the lead in overall points on the team with his first-period assist, but Krejci's goal got him on back level with #17. They both have 17 points, with the continuing-to-be-a-surprise-and-rather-underrated Reilly Smith sitting third with 15 points.
Zdeno Chara was -1 on the day, bringing his season total to -2. Its his worst +/-we've seen in quite a while, as Chara hasn't a minus season since his first in Boston in '06-'07, where he was a -21 (egads!)
Adam McQuaid and Dennis Seidenberg both sat out again today, with McQuaid more likely to return Monday versus Pittsburgh than Seids.