The Boston Bruins are loaded with playmakers in the top six, and the New York Rangers had to learn that the hard way.
Down 2-0 in the second period on Black Friday, the Bruins erased the deficit to force overtime. David Krejci then scored the winner in the extra period to give the Bruins a 3-2 victory at TD Garden.
With a little over 1:30 elapsed, Krejci carried the puck in the neutral zone, then left it for David Pastrnak at the red line. Pastrnak gained the offensive blue line, drew some defenders and ultimately Henrik Lundqvist, getting the netminder well off his line. With Lundqvist out of position, Pastrnak fed the puck to Krejci in the slot, and the center had a wide open net with which to bury the overtime score.
After the game, Krejci was asked by NBC’s Brian Boucher to break down the goal, and his explanation was quite simple.
“Give the puck to Pasta and good things happen, and that’s what happened” Krejci said. “He drew a couple guys to him and I was all alone in the slot and I had an open net.”
The veteran pivot has played hero late in games a few times lately. His two goals in the waning moments of last Saturday’s win against the Minnesota Wild paved the way for Torey Krug’s game-winner.
Here are some other notes from Friday’s Bruins-Rangers game:
— Patrice Bergeron remained out of the lineup, so Krejci centered the top line with Pastrnak and Brad Marchand. As has been the case all season when asked to fill that role, Krejci did a fine job, adding an assist on Pastrnak’s equalizer earlier in the game.
Bergeron’s absence also allowed Jack Studnicka to draw back in. Studnicka looked fine enough, but played a team-low 9:45. The 20-year-old made his biggest impact by helping create some of the havoc in front of Lundqvist on Sean Kuraly’s second-period goal
— Charlie Coyle blocked a shot after the midway point of the second period, then didn’t skate the rest of the stanza. He did return for the third period and ultimately played 14:44 in the contest.
— There also was a scare with Marchand, who went down the tunnel early during the third period. Marchand only was gone for a few minutes, then returned without limitations.
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy indicated that Marchand was taken out of the game by the concussion spotter, but was cleared.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images