Torey Krug's best game of series comes just in time for Bruins

Evan Marinofsky
April 21, 2019 - 8:22 pm
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Torey Krug had just had a home run pass intended for David Pastrnak intercepted at the blue line. Krug was mad, the first power play unit was out of sync and the play summed up the previous five games for the Boston Bruins' top offensive guns: disappointing. 

And then puck luck went on the side of the Bruins. 

Just moments later, David Pastrnak threw a puck to the front of the net with Marcus Johansson fighting for a tip or rebound. Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen directed it into the right circle and onto the stick of an open Torey Krug, who fired home a one-timer to give the Bruins a 2-1 lead. 

Power play: back on. Offensive woes: over. 

"The recipe for our power play all year has been make the play that's open, but get a shot," said Krug. "If they're going to take away Patrice Bergeron, we have four other guys that can make the right plays." 

To that point, the first power play unit was dealing with a serious case of the struggles. In Game 5, they were 0-for-3 and since Game 1 when Bergeron opened the scoring, the unit's struggled to even enter the zone properly. 

"Someone has to shoot right?" said Bruce Cassidy when talking about the power play. "If you've followed us a little you know what our sequence of plays are: Bumper, Pastrnak. If they're going to take those away, Marchand's got to shoot sometimes and we have to attack from the goal line. [Johansson> in this case tonight. We talked about that if we had another power play he'd think about doing that. 

"Get it up top and shoot with traffic. If they're going to be compact, you have to shoot and recover." 

Krug was all about shooting Sunday. He had a team-high nine shots. Up until his power play lamp-lighter, it looked as if Krug's shots were magnets to Andersen's glove. 

His heavy amounts of shots and facilitation skills in all situations helped him lead the team in corsi-for at 31 and fenwick-for at 22. His expected goals landed at 1.15 come game's end. When he was on the ice, the Bruins had five high danger scoring chances, which tied for second on the club. 

Despite all the offense, Cassidy stressed Krug's desire to become a great defenseman at both ends of the ice. 

"He wants to build his legacy not just as a power play defenseman but as a 200-foot player who can play in any situation," he said. "I think he really stepped up tonight. Shot the puck a little more. We talked about getting some more traffic, a little more action at the net. We did a good job with that and he set the precedent." 

To this point in the series, Krug had been disappointing. He only had three assists and was a minus-1. He looked nowhere near the guy who put up 53 points during the regular season after he sustained that hit from Jake Muzzin in Game 2. 

But Sunday provided a chance for Krug to right both ships he's in control of -- his own and the first power play unit's. 

Right in the nick of time. 

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