Bruins need more from Krejci/By S. Bradley

BOSTON — In a physically grueling battle with Pittsburgh today at TD Garden, Bruins head coach Claude Julien decided to cut back the third-period minutes for his daintiest forward line.

Continuing a recent trend of utilizing just his three most effective lines in the last stanza of close games, Julien kept the trio of Tyler Seguin, David Krejci and Blake Wheeler on the bench for about 8:30 of the third period. That line took one late shift after an offensive-zone faceoff with 2:28 to go.

“I thought the line that struggled a lot was Krejci’s line. They really had a tough time tonight and those guys that are on that line, are guys that can produce for us,” said the coach after his team’s 3-2 loss. “That’s one of those nights where we could have used them and they certainly have seen better nights from those guys.”

Seguin, Krejci and Wheeler combined for six shots on net but recorded no hits and were unable to muster a sustained attack. The usually stingy stats crew at the Garden even charged Krejci with three giveaways, an almost unheard of sum in a stats category that is usually neglected at the Bruins’ home rink.