Krejci knows score
Center’s hat trick goes for naught
TAMPA – David Krejci wanted to wrap up the Eastern Conference finals in Game 6 last night, but he’ll get another shot tomorrow night on his home ice.
Krejci registered the Bruins’ first postseason hat trick since Cam Neely accomplished the feat in 1991 against the Canadiens, but his performance wasn’t enough as the Lightning prevailed, 5-4, to force Game 7.
Krejci was in no mood to celebrate, preferring to put last night behind him and look forward to tomorrow night’s showdown.
“It’s always nice to score goals, but in the playoffs, it doesn’t really matter,’’ he said. “A loss is a loss, and a win is a win. We just have to forget about it and get ready for Game 7.”
Tampa Bay, which won the Stanley Cup in 2004, is stingy defensively, and had never surrendered a postseason hat trick prior to last night.
Krejci has scored half of his 10 playoff goals in this series. The offensive boost from the third-year center has been well-received after he scored a career-low 13 goals in 75 games during the regular season.
Krejci is enjoying this postseason run after last season’s was cut short when he suffered a broken wrist in Game 3 of the series against the Flyers. Now healthy, he’s producing at the most opportune time. His third-period power-play goal was Boston’s first in this series since Michael Ryder connected in Game 2.
The line of Krejci, Milan Lucic, and Nathan Horton was responsible for all of Boston’s scoring last night, giving coach Claude Julien confidence his team can rebound behind the efforts of the top trio.
“That line needed to be big for us, and they were,’’ Julien said. “That’s certainly something you can build on heading home, that if those guys play like that again, you like our chances.’’
Lucic said a big key for the Bruins is to stay away from stupid penalties.
“You hope it’s not the time of year for make-up calls and penalties,’’ he said, “but you can’t let the [referees] get to you.’’
Krejci’s aggressiveness in front of the net created his scoring chances and he knows things will only get more physical in Game 7.
“It’s going to be tough for us,’’ he said. “This is a good team we’re facing, and it’s not going to be easy.’’