But Krejci returned to the lineup Saturday night, and wasted no time making an impact. Showing no signs of rust or any conditioning issues, let alone any ill effects of the concussion, Krejci led all Boston forwards in ice-time with 22:21. Krejci's efforts helped the Bruins rally from a three-goal deficit to force overtime and earn a point before falling, 4-3, to Los Angeles in a shootout.
That ice-time included 3:35 on the power play and another 2:32 on the penalty kill, as Krejci immediately resumed his normal workload as a key performer on special teams as well as returning to his normal spot on the top line between Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton.
"I guess that's the best way to get back in the game, to put me in the same situations that I played before," said Krejci. "I felt pretty good out there. Obviously, it wasn't my best game, but as a team we battled hard. We got a good point, so that's a positive thing. I just believe that I'll be better every game now."
Krejci wasn't quite as confident coming into the game, as he admitted the concussion he suffered still weighed on his mind a bit before he started playing.
"It was in the back of my head a little bit," said Krejci. "I tried not to think about it, but it's kind of hard not to think about it. Once the game started, it kind of all went away. I was a little aware of it, but like I said I tried not to think about it and tried to play my game.
"Injuries like that, it's not fun," added Krejci. "You've got to be careful, so I guess you could see a little bit that I played a little carefully, but I can't do that. I feel fine, so I've just got to be focused 100 percent for my job, not about my old injuries."
Bruins coach Claude Julien also tried to be careful with Krejci's workload. But it didn't take long to see that the center still had the same energy and ability that he had before the injury, and Julien started playing him more and more as the night wore on and the Bruins battled out of their early hole.
"Well, I don't think I went into the game saying he was going to get over 20 minutes," said Julien. "I went into the game saying we'll see how he does and how he feels, and you kind of gauge yourself on that, but he seemed to have lots of energy. He's been skating for the last week and it's been at a pretty good pace, so you know, basically, he was only out for maybe seven days and then he skated for at least five, so I don't think he really got out of shape, per se, and tonight he seemed to have the energy that was needed."
Krejci's teammates were certainly happy to see him back out there as often as possible.
"He helps us a lot," said center Gregory Campbell. "Bergie [Patrice Bergeron] did a great job on that line, but that line was playing really well when [Krejci] was in and obviously it helps with the depth of our team. He's a pretty skilled player and with those two on his wing he creates a lot for those guys and helps on our power play. He just helps throughout the whole lineup. It gives us that extra offensive ability."
Krejci finished the night a minus-1, but he had four shots, three takeaways, a blocked shot and won 71 percent of his draws (15-6) in a strong all-around effort.
"Krejci was good tonight," said Julien. "He didn't look like a guy who's been out for a week and a half or plus, and he seemed like he had a lot of energy, didn't seem like anything slowed him down, and he made some good plays."
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