David Krejci had a pretty clear objective in the waning minutes of the Boston Bruins’ win over the Buffalo Sabres: Get the puck to Craig Smith.
The winger recorded the second hat trick of his career Saturday as the B’s thumped the lowly Sabres 6-2. Smith scored just 81 seconds into the game, then didn’t score again until the 5:31 mark in the third period.
Smith’s second goal put the Bruins up 5-1, so the game was well out of reach. Right before the second line hit the ice for the shift that ultimately saw Smith bury No. 3, Krejci had a pretty simple message for his right-winger.
“Krejci told me before the shift, he said ‘Get your stick down, I’m going to try to shoot it at you every time,'” Smith told reporters after the game over Zoom. “It just happened to be the first one he shot.”
That’s not uncommon for the Bruins to do, especially the top line of David Pastrnak, Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron.
A willingness to do that isn’t lost on the head coach.
“That?s typical Krech, right?” Bruce Cassidy said. “He was looking for him the whole third period. Krech is obviously going to do the right thing because the game is still in hand, but at the same time looking after a teammate. Guys have done that around here when they can.”