David Krejci found himself back at center, in the middle of a new top line, holding the weight of the 1-0 loss to the Senators on his shoulders and knowing he wanted to do better. Maybe being on this new line inspired him–his hat trick lifted the Bruins past the New Jersey Devils, 4-3 in an overtime win, a good way to start what is going to be a big month for the team.
Krejci opened up the score sheet at just 1:13 of the first period with a wrister assisted by his new linemate, Tyler Seguin. Soon after that, Shawn Thornton kept up the physicality by taking on Eric Boulton during the first period in a heavyweight battle that went on for more than a minute.
Seguin, though, was also looking to erase a scoring drought and did so just seven minutes later, helped out by Milan Lucic and Tim Thomas (earning his first point of the season).
Greg Zanon, in his Bruins debut, made his presence known at one point by laying a big hit on David Clarkson to stop a rush. He earned a round of cheering and applause from the TD Garden crowd. Boston Globe correspondent Fluto Shinzawa declared that Zanon is “a perfect fit. Like another [Dennis] Seidenberg.”
However, like in other recent games, a 2-0 lead ended up being a liability. The second period was completely dominated by the Devils, who scored three unanswered goals, the first off a terrible giveaway by Joe Corvo. As punishment for that mistake, Corvo was benched for much of the second. The Bruins’ power play was also weak and unproductive.
Down 3-2 heading into the third, Krejci found the back of the net again to tally up his first multi-point game since Jan. 22 versus Philadelphia. This tied score held for the entire period and part of overtime, at least until Krejci scored again on a top-shelf goal that confused everyone at first. Jack Edwards wasn’t sure if it went in or not, but as soon as the red light went off and the first hats hit the ice, he knew for sure. That’s Krejci’s third hat trick: he had one against Toronto in 2008 and against Tampa Bay in the 2011 playoffs.
The Bruins swept the four-game series against the Devils for the first time since the 1985-86 season. Next up is a matinee meeting with the New York Islanders, March 3 at 1:00 p.m.