Krug scores key goal in first playoff game

Krug scores key goal in first playoff game
May 17, 2013, 12:30 am
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BOSTON -- Torey Krug was 10 minutes away from getting on the Providence Bruins' bus, headed for Wilkes-Barre, when he got the call telling him to stay off that bus.

He wasn't making the four-and-a-half hour drive. Instead, he was headed to Boston.

Because of Dennis Seidenberg's injury in Monday's Game 7, the Bruins needed another defenseman to fill the void. So they called up Krug, who played in his first Stanley Cup playoff game on Thursday night against the New York Rangers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at the TD Garden.

"I felt very comfortable," said Krug after the game. "It's a great group of guys. I went out and just played my game. And I was fortunate enough to help the team."

Krug helped send Game 1 to overtime, when he answered the Rangers' second goal of the game with a power-play goal of his own.

It came 2:55 into the third period, not even three minutes after the Rangers took a 2-1 lead with a goal 14 seconds into the third.

With 15 seconds left on a Bruins power play, Krug took a point-to-point pass from Dougie Hamilton, stepped up into the top of the left circle, and let one rip. The shot got through traffic out front of the net and beat Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game at 2-2, giving Krug his first-career NHL goal.

"Dougie made a great play getting the puck over to me," said Krug after Boston's eventual 3-2 overtime win. "I had a lot of time to get my shot through to the net, and I was fortunate enough to get a screen on their goalie, and it went in.

"I think the key to every power play is to get pucks to the net, and that's one of the strengths of my game. So I was just working as hard as I can to open up that shot lane."

Krug saw 16:41 of ice time in his first Stanley Cup playoff game. Afterwards, he was adamant that he wasn't nervous.

"One of the things that they stressed early on when I first got here, and they continue to stress throughout the game, is, 'Play your game. Don't be scared to make mistakes. Do what you do best. There's a reason you're here,'" said Krug. "That confidence that they showed in me went a long way, for myself."

Krug put that confidence on display Thursday night.

"Torey's first game obviously, and not only did he score a big goal, but he just moved that puck so well," said Bruins coach Claude Julien. "A lot of times he played against their third line, which is a pretty heavy line. And I thought he handled them extremely well."

Not bad for a kid who was about to board a bus headed for Wilkes-Barre to play an AHL playoff game.

"I was just kind of preparing, business as usual, down in Providence, focusing on our playoffs, and you get the call," said Krug. "All you want to do is come up here and help the team, whichever way you can. That was kind of my mindset going into the game."

Not only did Krug help fill-in for the missing Seidenberg, but he played a major role in a huge win.

"It's one of those things that you dream about as a kid," said Krug. "I came up here just preparing as if I was going to play. And I was lucky enough to get in the lineup. I helped the team win, and that was my goal. So I'm very happy."