BOSTON -- Torey Krug wasn’t in much of a reflective mood about the things he’d done right this season following the Bruins’ stunning, last-minute 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.
Krug had opened the B’s scoring with a power-play goal that deflected off a New Jersey defender in front of the net, and gave the rookie defenseman his team-leading third power-play goal oF the season. The goal was originally awarded to Milan Lucic, but further reviews showed that the B’s power forward hadn’t touched the wobbly puck before it shot past Martin Brodeur.
“Jarome [Iginla] made a nice play to get it to me at the point, and I just took the shot when I saw the opening,” said Krug matter-of-factly.
The three power-play goals is more than half of Boston’s power-play production (5-for-33, 15.2 percent success, 21st-best in the NHL) this year.
Four of Krug’s six points on the year are on the power play, and he leads all NHL rookie defenseman in goals (4) and points (6) a little less than a month into the season.
But Krug also factored largely into the outcome of the game in the third period when an errant high stick caught Damien Brunner in the mouth as they battled for a 50/50 puck in the corner. He was in the box for four minutes and the Devils scored two goals within 23 seconds of each other after Patrice Bergeron also headed to the penalty box for flinging the puck over the glass on a clearing attempt.
Those are the kinds of highs and lows -- even if they are in the extreme for Krug -- that every NHL rookie should expect while going through the league the first time. But it certainly doesn’t make the experience any easier.
“I was just going into battle with the guy, and stuck him in the face. I didn’t mean to,” said Krug. “You can never take anything for granted in this league, and we were on the bad side of it this time. We had the lead in our own building in the third period. We have got to close out games, so we’ve got to do a better job once again.”
It’s too bad Krug’s mistake proved so costly because otherwise his game wasn’t bad: six generated shot attempts and four blocked shots in 18:18 of ice time shows plenty of involvement in both zones. But a few late mistakes ruined the evening for both Krug and the rest of his Bruins’ teammates.