It’s no secret that the trio of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton have been inconsistent throughout the season thus far, but last night was a thing of beauty for the Bruins top line.
Krejci, and Horton both scored and added an assist, and Lucic notched two assists for himself, but it was more than the goals and assist that made last night one of the best games of the year for the Bruins first line.
“Well just the speed of their execution. They are going up the ice and they are making good passes. And if you look at that shift we talked about earlier, how strong they are along the boards and not giving up the puck easily” said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. “There was a time, they are big guys, but they would lose a battle, turn the puck over in the corner. But they are big guys and having to backcheck all night, it’s not an easy game for them. And I think as a line they are a lot stronger and a lot more patient with the puck.”
Chris Kelly and Johnny Boychuk added goals, Tuukka Rask made 21 saves, and the Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs for the fourth time this season and second time this week. Julien made it well known he was not happy with his club after Wednesday’s 6-3 win in Toronto, but the Bruins bench boss was singing a different tune after this one.
I think so. It was a good game tonight. Going into the third period it’s a 2-1 hockey game and it’s a good, tight game. As I mentioned the other day, they’re (Toronto) really coming around and becoming a real good hockey club” said Julien. “I think Ron (Wilson) and his coaching staff have done a good job of getting those guys to compete hard—and they do. Right now I would say probably our experience is what takes over eventually, but it was a real good game and we’ve won four because we respected the quality of team they are and we get well prepared for them.”
Once again the Bruins were able to shut down the NHL’s leading scorer who came close to getting one past Rask when the former Bruin raced in on a breakaway, but Rask was able to read what Kessel was trying to do.
“The puck was kind of bobbling a little bit. I can’t remember who the D was for us, but he was doing a pretty good job skating in between and taking that passing lane away, so I had a good chance to challenge him a little bit and he couldn’t get a really good shot off that. It hit my stick or something, I guess” said Rask.
With the win the Bruins now hold a three point lead over Toronto in the Northeast Division and are three points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the lead in the Eastern Conference. It just so happens that the Bruins travel to Pittsburgh Monday night to take on the Penguins, a matchup that Joe Corvo and the Bruins are excited for.
“I think we’re approaching- we’ve got the right mind set going into every game right now. I feel like we’re playing the same way every game and we’re being super consistent and if we don’t at some point in the game, it gets corrected” said Corvo. “I think it’s obviously a good test, they’re in first place so it’ll be an exciting game.”
An exciting game it will be.
Heres some post game locker room video: