Krejci’s hat trick, new linemates, lift Bruins past Devils
Thursday night, Krejci was back at center, between Tyler Seguin and Milan Lucic — and delivered the second hat trick of his career, the third goal beating Martin Brodeur at 2:59 of overtime to give the Bruins a 4-3 victory over the Devils, completing Boston’s first series sweep of New Jersey since 1985-86.
Krejci, who had three goals in his previous 23 games, tied the game at 5:30 of the third period and then picked up a loose puck in front of Brodeur and scored his 16th goal of the season in the OT, triggering a cascade of hats down onto the ice.
“ I wasn’t thinking about (the hat trick), I had two goals in the month of February,” Krejci said. “But I just take it game by game.”
Tyler Seguin also scored for the defending Stanley Cup champions, who opened a three-point lead over secondplace Ottawa in the Northeast Division and sent New Jersey to its fourth straight loss.
But the story was Krejci, who had three goals in his previous 23 games and tied the game after the Bruins had blown a 2- 0 lead and fallen behind 3-2.
The new line produced all four goals. Seguin also had an assist and Lucic added two assists in front of Tim Thomas, who contributed his first assist of the season.
Second- period goals by Zach Parise, Patrik Elias and David Clarkson put the Devils ahead, before New Jersey equaled its longest losing streak of the season.
The comeback allowed the Bruins to maintain a perfect record when ahead 2-0 or up by two goals at any time in a game. They are 12-0-0 when leading 2-0 and 29-0-0 when leading by two goals.
Julien, who said after Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Ottawa that he wasn’t worried about the offense, shook up his lines and the move paid immediate dividends, with two goals in the first 8:10 from the Krejci- Seguin-Lucic line, the first just 63 seconds into the game.
The Bruins dominated play for most of the period and took a 2-0 lead to the locker room. By the end of the second period they trailed and the home crowd was booing.
After Parise coverted a 2- on-1 pass from Ilya Kovalchuk (following a bad pass at center ice by Boston defenseman Joe Corvo), Elias tied the game with his 20th goal, the ninth time he’s reached that plateau. Then Clarkson got one past Thomas from behind the net at 17:46, Clarkson’s career-high 25th goal.
Note — Bruins defenseman Greg Zanon, acquired from Minnesota at the trade deadline, made his Bruins debut.