BOSTON — Apparently, all it took was a flash of that Detroit red to get Torey Krug going.
The Bruins defenseman, who spent his formative years in southeast Michigan, broke out of a four-month slump Thursday night, scoring his first goal in 55 games and adding two assists in a 5-2 rout of his hometown Red Wings at TD Garden.
Krug’s goal — a power-play tally at the 5:02 mark of the second period — proved to be the game-winner.
“It was nice,” the 24-year-old said after the game. “I mean, more importantly, our power play had to come through for us at some point down the stretch, and it’s nice to get one there and help our team win. And I think it was an important time in the game, too. So, it was nice to get that one, and we’ll move on.”
Thursday’s game certainly was an important one for the Bruins, whose win prevented the Red Wings from clinching the Atlantic Division’s third and final automatic Stanley Cup playoff bid. Boston now can secure either that spot or the Eastern Conference’s second wild card depending on how they, the Wings and the Philadelphia Flyers fare this weekend.
(In the interest of conserving space/not boring you all to tears, you can find a full rundown of Bruins playoff scenarios right here.)
Though the Bruins’ playoff standing remains very much uncertain with just one game left to play — at home Saturday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators — Krug is one player who doesn’t seem fazed by the pressure.
“It’s fun,” he said. “I mean, obviously you’d like to be in a different position where your playoff spot is secure, but you want to play in big games and important games, and you want to be the guy that helps your team win. So, I think right now we have a lot of guys in this locker room that want to help out that way.”
Krug helped out in a big way offensively against the Wings — snapping a streak of 159 (!) shots on net without a goal by lighting the lamp for the first time since Dec. 5 — but he also played a key role in a Bruins defensive unit that limited Detroit to 15 total shots on goal and just two in the third period.
Since the returns of Colin Miller from Providence and, especially, Kevan Miller from injury bolstered Boston’s blue line ahead of Tuesday’s loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, the B’s have allowed a total of two goals in regulation over their last two games.
“(We) just realize how important it is to have every single guy pulling their load and committed to the system and moving forward,” Krug said. “We played great, but that game is over with. We have another big test, and we’ve got to just realize that and bring the same effort Saturday.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images