They’ve been pretty good all series, but in Game 3 on Monday night they were even better as the Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 5-2 to take a two games to one series lead in their best-of-seven conference quarterfinals matchup.
The line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton combined for two goals and six assists in Game 3.
The Bruins have scored 11 times in three playoff games this season, the Krejci line has five of them. With every series at least three games in, Krejci leads all postseason skaters with seven points. Lucic leads all postseason skaters with six assists and Lucic, Krejci and Horton are all plus-five so far in the National Hockey League’s second season.
To put it shorter terms, this line is as hot as any other playing hockey right now.
“It’s great that we’ve been able to contribute, but the attitude we need to have is that we’re never satisfied,” said Lucic who chipped in with three assists in Game 3.
“We’re up by a game [in the series] and we made a mistake by taking them too lightly going into Game 2. We can’t make that same mistake into Wednesday.”
The big thing about the goal scoring that the Bruins have gotten from their top line has been how timely it is has been. Horton’s second period Game 3 tally is a prime example of this.
The Bruins held a 2-0 lead and had what was a loud Air Canada Centre at the start of the game, completely quiet, but the Bruins allowed a power play goal to Jake Gardiner which got the Leafs and their fans back into it.
Just 50 seconds later, Horton drove to the net, chipped in a pass from Lucic, and once again took the air out of the Air Canada Centre.
“It was very unfortunate that we gave up the third goal because it was a 2-1 hockey game” said Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle.
“We had the momentum going our way, and there was a lot of energy going and we made a mistake on clearing the puck and then we gave them a goal on I think the very next shift and that takes the wind out of your sails.”
The second goal of the night from the Krejci line would be from Krejci himself on a Maple Leafs empty net to put the game away and give the Bruins their second lead of the series.
As good as Lucic and Horton have been in the playoffs, it’s Krejci that fuels the engine that is the Bruins top line. Krejci may fly under the radar around the league, but Bruins head coach Claude Julien says that is not the case in the Bruins locker room.
“Well for anybody that watched us win the cup a few years ago saw that he won the scoring title. He’s a good player, and maybe he does fly under the radar for a lot of people, but he certainly doesn’t fly under the radar for us” says Julien.
“He’s a very creative, and not only that, he doesn’t get very intimidated by physicality, he’ll make plays and go to the dirty areas. Like I said he’s a real good play maker and he goes about his job quietly.”
If the Krejci line keeps it going other lines could feed off the Bruins top line, and that is something no one will complain about. Krejci and the Bruins look to take a 3-1 series lead when they hit the ice in Toronto Wednesday night for Game 4.