BOSTON – Gregory Campbell scored a pair of goals in the Bruins’ series-clinching 3-1 victory over the Rangers on Saturday, but it was Torey Krug who really got things going for the Bruins early in the second period. The 22-year-old rookie from Michigan came to the Bruins early in the series as an emergency call-up after injuries plagued the Bruins’ blue line.
Krug hasn’t just exceeded expectations; he’s become a star. With four goals and an assist in five playoff games, it’s safe to say Krug was a dominant addition in the second round.
“It’s a good feeling out there,” Krug said, “and the more the coaching staff puts me out on the ice, the better I feel. It’s a great feeling when your teammates are coming up to you, patting you on the back, and all the credit in the world to everyone.”
The Bruins were struggling early in the second period of Game 5, trailing 1-0. With the Bruins on the power play, Krug set up at the top of the circle and fired a hard one-timer that beat Lundqvist and tied it up for the Bruins. With Krug giving the Bruins some much-needed momentum, teammate Gregory Campbell put the Bruins in the lead with a goal later on in the period, and then scored an empty-net goal late in the third.
“I think obviously that was the turning point for us,” Krug said of his goal. “Getting the shots through, trying to cause havoc in the crease, I think that was a point of emphasis Coach made between the first and second [periods]. I think that power play was the turning point for the game.”
It’s no secret that Krug has been on fire for the Bruins this series, but the times at which he’s scoring have made his presence really felt. Three out of the four goals Krug has scored have been on the power play, an area the Bruins have notoriously struggled with for the past few seasons. In the regular season, the Bruins were ranked 26th in the league on the power play, but with a little help from Krug and the rest of the team, the Bruins have turned it around with six power-play goals thus far in the playoffs.
“You always hope that guys can come in and help your team out. There’s no doubt he was magic for us in this series,” said head coach Claude Julien. “To score that many goals and show the confidence that he showed playing in this series is pretty outstanding. He’s a player that we’ve always felt good about in our organization. As I said, he’s shown what he’s all about. We said ice in his veins and that’s what he’s got.”
Krug left Michigan State last spring in order to sign with the Bruins. He had a very successful season with the Providence Bruins, scoring 13 goals and racking up 32 assists in 63 games. His success with Providence has certainly translated well thus far in the playoffs, and Krug hopes that continues.
“I have to do things like that if I want to stick around in this league,” said Krug. “If I’m not going to be scoring or making an impact in the offensive zone, I’m not going to stick around. They’re just going to find a bigger guy who can do those things. Hopefully, I can continue. And like I said, I’m just trying to contribute every chance I get.”
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