With the growing uncertainty of David Krejci returning to Boston for the 2023-24 season, it would fit with the theme of the team’s 100th year to look back at an unappreciated moment by the Bruins’ perennially underrated star.
It’s October 24th, 2013; the Bruins are hosting the San Jose Sharks in an early season heavyweight bout between two of the NHL’s best teams.
As usual, it is a sellout crowd in the TD Garden; however, tonight, the Bruins are taking a backseat. Across town, the Red Sox are playing in Game Two of the World Series, so most of the city is focused elsewhere.
So far, San Jose has carried the bulk of play through the first two periods, outshooting Boston 25-10.
Despite the lopsided play, Boston struck first. Two minutes before the intermission, Jarome Iginla pounced on an endboard rebound and beat Antti Niemi to score his first goal as a Bruin.
San Jose answered quickly at the start of the third period. Just eighteen seconds in, Tuukka Rask dropped Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s point shot, and Patrick Marleau calmly tapped in the rebound.
The score holds through the rest of the third, despite San Jose relentlessly peppering Rask.
Rask is under constant duress and has been forced to make a number of excellent saves to keep the game level. As time winds down in, it looks like both teams are content to play for overtime.
But David Krejci had other plans.
With fifteen seconds remaining in regulation, Krejci picks up a loose puck along the boards and passes it up to Milan Lucic. Lucic carries it across center ice and dumps it into the San Jose corner. Evading checks from Vlasic and Joe Thornton, he retrieves the puck himself.
With just three seconds to go, the puck works back to Adam McQuaid at the blue line. McQuaid quickly throws it toward Iginla at the far post, but Krejci slips free in the slot and reaches the puck first. His perfectly timed tip slides through Niemi’s legs and gives the Bruins a 2-1 lead with 0.8 seconds left.
The clock strikes zero on the next faceoff, and the Bruins hand San Jose their first loss of the season.
Despite having been constantly on their heels and outshot 39-17 for the game, the Bruins managed to steal an improbable victory thanks in part to their crafty center.