BOSTON — Just when we thought he couldn’t do much more for an encore, Bruins center David Krejci came up with another way to impress in the Eastern Conference semifinal series against Philadlephia.
The pivot who posted 3-2-5 totals in the first two victories over the Flyers, added a perfect 8-for-8 faceoff night to his 1-2-3 totals in the Game 3 victory last night that put Boston ahead, 3-0, in the series with Game 4 set for tomorrow night at the TD Garden.
Krejci said he couldn’t recall a perfect faceoff night prior in his career. However, he wasn’t celebrating it either, nor was he putting too much weight in the Bruins’ ability to win more than 70 percent of the draws as a team in Game 3. The Elias Sports Bureau estimated that no team had won more than 70 percent of its draws in a playoff game in at least 10 years.
“We have a very good faceoff team, one of the best in the league,” he said after practice today at the Garden. “And we work on it after practices. We do the faceoffs, all of our centermen. It was just one of those nights. One night goes our way. Last night was a very good night. But the other night it could go the other way. So I wouldn’t make any big deal out of it.”
The Bruins were fifth in the regular season in team faceoff percentage. But they rarely have nights like last night. Gregory Campbell lost just once all night and Patrice Bergeron was 17-for-19. Krejci said when he’s in the zone on faceoffs, he can feel it.
“As a centerman, you know. It’s always in your head,” said Krejci. “If you lose, if you win … you’re aware. It’s nice to play, if you win the faceoff, you start with the puck. It’s better to start with the puck than to chase the puck.”
The Bruins weren’t chasing the puck in Game 3, but the Flyers have been chasing Krejci and his linemates — Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton — since the opening game. Boston’s top trio has now combined for 14 points in the three games after a quiet first round that featured them tallying just six points.
“I thought we did a pretty good job in the first round creating some chances,” said Krejci. “We weren’t able to bury them, but we carried these chances into the second round and the puck’s finding the back of the net. So we’re not changing anything. We just go out there, do our best and make sure to create some chances.”
This year the Bruins have Krejci healthy and ready to go for Game 4 against the Flyers, unlike last season when he suffered a season-ending wrist injury during the Game 3 victory. That he’s led Boston to another 3-0 lead and will probably oust the Flyers as revenge for last season, however, doesn’t give Krejci any personal satisfaction. Or at least that’s what he says.
“I just wanted to beat the Flyers and go to the conference finals. We were close last year. I’m not taking it personal at all,” he said. “It’s a new year. We have a team, they have a new team. It’s just another series.”
It’s another series and there will be at least one more chance for Krejci to something to top what he’s accomplished in the first three.