Krejci’s building reputation as playoff hero

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When the Boston Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 2011, David Krejci led the league with 12 goals and 23 points in 25 playoff games.

He’s done even better this time around and in a year where Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Patrick Kane, and Patrick Sharp are among the players still active, Krejci is leading the pack with 20 points in 14 contests.

“You know what? It’s nice,” Krejci told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I want to say it’s nice, but I don’t really look at it that much. In the playoffs, it can change the next day. So I just try to stay at the same level at all times.”

Fair enough, but Krejci does seem like he can find an extra level when his team needs him the most. Over the past four campaigns, he’s never recorded more than 62 points in a single regular season, but he ranks second behind only Mike Richards in playoff points since 2010. Krejci has 25 goals and 54 points in 55 postseason games over that span.

Bruins coach Claude Julien suggested that Krejci is the type of player that thrives under the intensity of the playoffs, although Krejci wanted to emphasize that he doesn’t think he gets “bored” during the regular season. He also thinks sometimes too much is made of points.

“It’s not always about points,” Krejci argued. “I feel sometimes I have a good game in the regular season but I don’t have a point, and that’s all the media talks about: You’re a good player if you have points; if you don’t have points, you’re not a good player.

“That’s not this team. We never had the past few years a guy in the top 20 in scoring, so that’s just the way our team is built.”

Well, they got someone playing like an elite scorer right now and it certainly hasn’t hurt.

Related:

Playoffs Tonight: Bruins look to battle Penguins to edge

Video: Ovechkin rocks custom skates for Russian Heritage Night

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As promised, Capitals star Alex Ovechkin rocked a pair of custom skates in honor of Russian Heritage Night on Thursday.

On his right skate, he paid tribute to the United States with a custom design, and paid tribute to his home nation on his left skate while taking the pre-game warm-up prior to facing the Columbus Blue Jackets.

He’ll be auctioning off the skates, as well.

From CSN Mid-Atlantic:

The skates were painted by noted custom shoe artists Nick Avery and Polo Kerber, whom Ovechkin personally selected. The skates feature the U.S. and Russia flags as well as the Capitol Building and Moscow’s St. Basil’s Cathedral.

Video: Crosby slash leaves Methot’s finger bloodied and injured (Updated)

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Sidney Crosby has made news lately for his goal scoring and his use of the stick.

He speared Sabres forward Ryan O’Reilly below the belt the other night, and on Thursday he delivered a slash to Senators defenseman Marc Methot, who has since not returned to the game.

The slash rendered a finger on Methot’s left hand bloodied and injured. It certainly didn’t look good as Method (calmly) skated to the bench.

There was no call on the play.

Updated: Methot won’t return to this game.

Show me the money! Nylander sets Leafs rookie record with latest assist

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Toronto’s talented rookies were back at it again Thursday, as William Nylander and Auston Matthews combined to set up the Maple Leafs’ first goal versus the New Jersey Devils.

Nylander added the second assist on the power play goal, giving him 35 helpers on the season.

That’s significant for a couple of reasons: He extends his point streak to 10 games, which sets a new Leafs rookie record. And the assist reportedly secured him another entry-level bonus:

Not bad.

Gibson (lower-body injury) will play again this regular season, says Carlyle

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The Anaheim Ducks have been without goalie John Gibson for almost two full weeks because of injury, but head coach Randy Carlyle provided reason for optimism on Thursday.

Per reports, Gibson took part in practice and Carlyle has said that his No. 1 netminder will play again during the regular season. Anaheim has nine games remaining on its schedule.

That’s good news for Anaheim heading into the post-season.

While Gibson has been out, Jonathan Bernier has stepped beyond his back-up role and provided solid goaltending for the Ducks during the stretch drive — which should also be a bonus for this club with the playoffs quickly approaching.

Bernier has wins in six of his last seven starts. In nine games this month, he has only twice allowed three goals or more.

The Ducks have fought their way back into contention for the Pacific Division with a recent surge that has coincided with San Jose’s current skid — only four wins in their last 10 games and four straight losses.

Related: Career back on track, Bernier hopes he can re-sign in Anaheim