David Krejci’s list of clutch credentials continues to expand.

Krejci was the Bruins’ best all-around player in the Bruins’ five-game series win over the Carolina Hurricanes, helping to finish them off with a goal and an assist in the 2-1 win. He finished the series with three goals and five assists in five games.

“Well I’ve learned that he’s a big-time player. I’ve seen it in the playoffs now every year I’ve been here,” said Coach Bruce Cassidy. “He’s a real competitor, good team guy, well liked in the room, quiet, I think a good hockey mind.”

And someone who can step up at a moment’s notice.

“Don’t overanalyze, maybe some regular-season games … if he’s not put in key situations,” Cassidy said. “I know that we’ve used him last minute a lot since I’ve been here with (Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand) on the wing and again he always rises up in those occasions. Game 3 is a great example of that.”

Krejci had been playing so well that Cassidy decided to keep him on the top power-play unit even with the return of David Pastrnak, who missed three games before returning Thursday.


“Well, he’s playing really well, really motivated, making good plays. … I mean we had a pretty good power play as it is the other way, but this is a way to get Krech more involved and then with Pasta not having a lot of reps,” Cassidy added. “Pasta certainly did his job on it, got to the front of the net, couple of good shots, obviously picked up a couple helpers on it, made some good plays. So that was a part of the game we were hoping he’d get back quickly, his hands, and he’s going to need to get his legs under him and his battle level up.”

PASTRNAK MAY not have looked quite at 100% in his first game back after missing three with an undisclosed injury. But Pastrnak still managed a couple of Grade A chances and assisted on both of the Bruins goals in their 2-1 series-clinching win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

That’s what star players do.

“Yeah, definitely obviously felt better every shift. It was good to be back with the guys. Anytime you’re watching the games from the stands, it’s tough. Really happy I was back and a great series,” said Pastrnak.

Despite coming off an injury, Pastrnak played 20:34, second among forwards to only Brad Marchand. He was stopped by Petr Mrazek on a second period breakaway as well as first period chance all alone at the side of the net.

NOBODY KNEW what the Bruins were going to get with Ondrej Kase. Not only had he just arrived from Anaheim at the trade deadline when the NHL it the pause button on March 12, but because of a protocol violation he missed all of the Phase 3 training camp, and then the first week of hockey when the stage shifted to Toronto.


Understandably, many Bruin watchers were having doubts that Kase would be much of a factor at all in this unique Stanley Cup playoff format.

But after getting in the last round-robin game, Kase has been one of the Bruins’ most important assets. Skating right wing on a line with center Krejci and left wing Jake DeBrusk, Kase has been a whiz at possessing the puck in tight, congested areas. He has three assists and shown to be the legitimate second line right wing, giving the Bruins a legitimate second line scoring option.

“Well, we needed it,” said Cassidy. “I mean, was a bit of an unknown going in. We saw him obviously in March – a long time ago, briefly. So, some of that, you don’t even really factor in because it’s such a long time ago and then you don’t see him in camp. He’s been good every game. Good for him. He’s been a little bit as advertised I would say. We were told he’d be good on pucks, second effort player willing to shoot.”

If his game has been deficient in any area, it has been his finish. He had 13 shots on net in the series with some great looks, including a clean breakaway, but has yet to score.

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