David Krejci has big game, Bruins hold off Blues 6-5

Boston Bruins’ David Krejci, of the Czech Republic, celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the St. Louis Blues, Friday, April 1, 2016, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Billy Hurst) AP Photo/Billy Hurst

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Boston Bruins snapped out of an extended scoring funk. They needed all of it.

David Krejci had two goals and two assists and the Bruins built a three-goal cushion and then hung on to beat the St. Louis Blues 6-5 Friday night and remain in third place in the Atlantic Division.

“It’s good to see that the puck went in the net for us,” Krejci said. “Six goals, we’ve been kind of struggling. Hopefully we can build some confidence.”

Loui Eriksson got his 500th career point with a goal and an assist and Patrice Bergeron scored his 30th this season for the Bruins, who totaled 10 goals while dropping six of their previous seven games. They’re a point ahead of Detroit, which beat Minnesota 3-2 Friday night, with four games remaining.

Boston plays Sunday at Chicago.

“You have to play desperate every night and now we have to move forward,” said Bergeron, who reached 30 goals for the third time in 12 career seasons. “It’s about making sure we do the job and we only worry about that one game.”

Paul Stastny had a goal and an assist and Alexander Steen and David Backes each had two assists for the Blues, who play at Colorado on Sunday. St. Louis was 0 for 5 on the power play and ended a five-game winning streak, during which it allowed one goal and recorded four consecutive shutouts. The Blues are second overall in the Western Conference with 101 points and have four games to go.


“They played like they had more to play for, which if you look at the standings you probably understand that,” Stastny said. “We just came out slow and I think they took it to us.”

Brian Elliott allowed five goals in two periods and was replaced by Jake Allen to start the third. The Blues cut the deficit to 5-4 before Bergeron’s power-play goal with 3:24 remaining, and Kevin Shattenkirk again cut the gap to one with 20 seconds remaining. Elliott entered with an NHL-leading 1.92 goals-against average and was seeking his 10th consecutive victory.

“Not a lot of them are Brian’s fault,” coach Ken Hitchcock said. “But we’ve got to get the bleeding stopped and then we’ve got to get a spark going the other way.”

Krejci’s four-point game was a season best for the Bruins, who have been much better on the road (25-12-3) than at home (16-17-5). He had a pair of three-point efforts in October. Tuukka Rask made 25 saves for Boston.

Stastny leads the NHL with 16 points in 11 games since March 9.

Jaden Schwartz started the scoring on an odd-man rush off a saucer feed from Jori Lehtera, but the lead lasted just 41 seconds. Goals by Eriksson and Krejci in a span of three shots put the Bruins ahead in the first, with John-Michael Liles assisting on both.

Following Stastny’s equalizer in the second, the Bruins got goals from Matt Beleskey, Frank Vatrano and David Krejci.

Robert Bortuzzo and Alex Pietrangelo also scored for the Blues, who trailed for the first time in six games.


“We still scored five goals and we didn’t play the best that we can,” Pietrangelo said. “So, it’s something to build on.”

NOTES: Elliott had allowed one goal in 93 shots over four games since returning from a lower-body injury. … Blues rookie F Robby Fabbri (lower body) missed his first game but skated earlier Friday and is not expected to be out long. … F Jimmy Hayes, scoreless in 15 games, was among the Bruins’ scratches. … Bruins F Kevan Miller (lower body) did not return after getting checked by Magnus Paajarvi in the first. Coach Claude Julien thought Miller would make the trip to Chicago said. … Attendance of 19,250 was the Blues’ 19th sellout. … Hitchcock coached his 1,400th game, tied for seventh career with Pat Quinn. Julien coached his 700th game with Boston.