Adding Taylor Hall to the Bruins’ second line has immediately made life easier for center David Krejci.
With so many moving parts all season, Krejci’s production had been limited to three goals in 38 games.
But opportunities came his way Sunday in the Bruins’ 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals and he took advantage with a pair of goals that helped the Bruins run away with their fourth straight win.
“It’s pretty exciting,” Krejci said. “And for me, having [him] on the line, it’s been pretty good so far.”
Hall scored two goals in his first three games alongside Krejci while Krejci has scored three of his five goals this season since Hall arrived.
“I like to believe that I can help him and he can help me,” Krejci said.
His two goals Sunday gave Krejci his first multi-goal game since Jan. 13, 2020, when he scored two against the Philadelphia Flyers.
On his second goal, Krejci waited so long, watching as Dmitry Orlov slid by on a failed block attempt, his teammates weren’t sure if he was ever going to let it fly.
“I’m not gonna lie, I’m on the bench like, ‘Come on Krech, shoot the damn thing!’” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Because there’s been a couple of times he’s looked off shots to make plays and he’s got a good shot especially from the slot.”
Patrice Bergeron admired the patience.
“I think many guys would have shot it,” Bergeron said. “Actually, he fooled everyone. I think everyone was thinking pass on that play and he finally shot it. So it was amazing patience, something that we got accustomed to from him.”
Wilson in the middle of things
Brandon Carlo missed 10 games after a hit from Capitals right wing Tom Wilson on March 5 left him with a concussion.
While he’s played just two games since as he’s recovered from a separate upper-body injury, the Bruins had to deal with Wilson’s aggressiveness again Sunday.
In a physical game, Wilson was in the middle of things. His hit on a defenseless Sean Kuraly in the third period raised some eyebrows, but Cassidy called it incidental.
“I think the Wilson on Kuraly, Kuraly was on his way down and Wilson was actually just prepared to hit him,” Cassidy said. “But I thought that one was one of those incidental [hits], there’s not much you can do once the guy starts tumbling down. Looked like there was some stuff going on in the corner. That’s what our bench was yelling about with a holding, a hook that might have led to him going down.”
Garnet Hathaway earned a major for boarding for his hit on Jarred Tinordi in the third that knocked Tinordi out of the game and left Tinordi’s face bloody. Cassidy said Tinordi had some facial injuries and hoped he didn’t have a concussion.
The physicality is something Cassidy said the Bruins will have to expect whenever they see the Capitals.
“Physical with Washington again,” he said. “Looks like that’s going to be the style of play. Our guys just have to be prepared for it and we’ve got to make sure we just showed our share hits as well.”
Frederic in a numbers crunch
The success of the fourth line means Trent Frederic may be the victim of the numbers game. Frederic, out since April 8 due to non-COVID illness, was a healthy scratch Sunday as Cassidy decided to stick with Curtis Lazar on the fourth line alongside Kuraly and Chris Wagner.
“The lineup is kind of settled in,” Cassidy said. “As a coach, I don’t mind changing a lineup while we’re winning if I feel it’ll help us be better ... But right now, I think that where Freddy would go in would probably be on the fourth line.
“They’ve done a good job for us — no line has been perfect, don’t get me wrong — but I think almost every player in that forward group has helped us win this weekend. And the lines are starting to find their way a little bit. So that’s good.”
Halak to rejoin team Monday
Jaroslav Halak, on the league’s COVID-19 protocols list for almost two weeks, has been skating individually and is expected to rejoin the team for practice Monday. “Obviously tough when you’re in quarantine,” Cassidy said. “Not much going on, but you’ve got to grind it out. A few guys have had to do it for that length of time. But he’s feeling good, working on his game, and getting back into the mix.” ... Matt Grzelcyk, out since April 10 with an upper-body injury, is skating as well and is expected to travel with the team for its three-game set this week against Buffalo ... Jakub Zboril was out with a non-COVID illness. Tinordi took his place alongside Steven Kampfer on the Bruins third defensive pairing.
Julian Benbow can be reached at email@example.com.