By Mike Miccoli, Boston Bruins correspondent
All it took was a fancy pass from inside his own zone for David Krejci to help his team get on the board Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets. His up-ice lob to Milan Lucic earned Krejci an assist on Nathan Horton’s first goal of the game, officially extended Krejci’s point streak to nine games, his longest of the season and second longest of his career, behind a 10-game bender in 2008-09.
The Bruins’ top line wasn’t done yet.
Eight seconds into the third period, it was dejavu as Krejci and Lucic collaborated again leading to another Horton tally, his second of the night and 14th of the season, tying the game at three and setting the tone for a Bruins comeback win, a 5-3 victory over Winnipeg.
Whereas much of the chatter around Boston has been focused on the offensive output of the Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and Tyler Seguin line, Krejci and company have certainly been making more appearances on the score sheet as of late, regaining their top line dominance.
“So far it’s clicking,” said Krejci after Tuesday’s game where he finished with two assists, totaling 21 on the season. “My line and me are trying to keep our feet moving. Every time we get a puck, we are crashing the net, and making the most of our chances and the puck has been going in the net for us. Hopefully we will keep doing the good things and scoring goals.”
While Krejci has a point-streak going, his linemates haven’t been too shabby either. After producing only three goals and three assists in the month of December, Horton has scored five goals in four games this month, including a game-winner against New Jersey on January 4 and two tallies the following night against Calgary. Lucic has been on a nice streak himself with four goals and eight assists in his last 11 games, including his 1:27 minutes of ice time before he was tossed in Saturday’s game against Vancouver.
“Looch has good speed,” said Krejci. “I love when he’s skating, if you go wide and keep your feet moving I’ll give you the puck. He’s done a really good job the whole time I’ve been playing with him my whole career. Horty has great speed too, so you have these two guys keeping their feet moving and they are really dangerous and I just have to give them the puck wide”
Since the beginning of Krejci’s point streak, which began on Saturday, December 17 when the Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-0, the momentum from each shift has started from the faceoff. This was no different on Tuesday night as Krejci won 11 of 13 draws for a season-high 85% win-rate from the dot.
“I think when he skates and just plays with some good intensity, and he’s strong on the puck, that’s what David ends up doing, getting rewarded with some good points and some good plays,” said Bruins coach Claude Julien.
The whole line was rewarded as the trio of Krejci, Lucic and Horton led all forwards with time on ice. It was Krejci however, who had the top honors skating a total of 19:51 on Tuesday after splitting time on both the power-play and penalty kill units. Still, it was obvious to both fans and their teammates that with the way that the line was creating chances and generating offense that they were the keys for the Bruins to get back into the game.
“In a game like this is, we are kind of sluggish for two periods and not really playing our game,” said Tuukka Rask, who made 29 saves for the win, his 10th of the season. “You want everybody going but every night you don’t get that. And today (the Krejci line) really stepped up and after that everybody followed.”
Of course, Horton makes the line’s keys to success sound simple.
“Just trying to get pucks to the net and go to the net, and get it to open people,” said Horton, when asked about his goal streak. “I’m just trying to give David and Looch the puck as much as I can and just go to the net, and good things happen.”
And good things have been happening.
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