The Boston Bruins recorded their eighth straight victory on Tuesday night as they edged the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0. The tightly contested tilt kept the Bruins unbeaten in regulation at home this season, and kept them in the number one spot in the NHL. Speaking of numbers, it was a milestone night for a pair of veterans on the roster. Jaroslav Halak played his 500th NHL game, while David Krejci scored his 200th career NHL goal. It was all the talk in the Bruins locker room after the win.
Krejci entered last night with 663 points in his storied career, but only 199 of them were goals. If you are surprised by that set of numbers, you aren’t alone. “You know what, I thought – I know he’s a pass-first guy, but I always assumed he has more than that to be honest with you,” admitted Bruce Cassidy postgame. “I don’t mean that in the wrong way, it seems like he’s been playing in this league as long as I can remember. I’m happy for him.”
Krejci’s marker proved to be the insurance the Bruins needed to clinch their victory. It came at 17:03 of the third period, making it a 2-0 game and ending all hopes of a comeback for the Hurricanes. It was the Czech center’s sixth goal of the season.
“He’s an unselfish guy, would rather pass first anyway, look after his teammates that way,” Cassidy continued. “Nice goal to score, going to the net too. Both of them were like that eventually, we got some separation. Took us a while, but tight checking games, so good for David. Good guy, good pro, good teammate. Happy for him.”
Krejci’s milestone would have been important no matter what. It was even more important thanks to Halak’s heroics in his own milestone game. The veteran Slovak made 24 saves on the night, completing game 500 with win 261. It’s been a long road for Halak, who made his NHL debut with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2006-07 season.
It was all worth it on Tuesday night.
“Might as well get it with a shutout, right?” Cassidy quipped. “Good for him. He battles hard in there. In my opinion, he’s a number one goalie in this league, he’s proven that.” Halak hasn’t had to be the number one for the Bruins, but his presence has no doubt made a difference for the team. With Halak on board, the Bruins have been able to run he and Tuukka Rask in tandem. That’s allowed both goaltenders to get adequate rest. It’s also allowed both to play the best hockey of their careers.
“He plays great for us, gives us a chance to win every night. So for us, for a coach, for players out there, knowing it doesn’t matter who goes in the net, you’re going to get quality goaltending. Give us a chance to win and more every night. I think the guys are real happy for Jaro,” continued the coach. “He’s a guy that battles in practice too for the guys as he takes those extra shots when he needs to be. I thought he was real good tonight.”
Tuesday was a night for celebrating numbers. For celebrating two points, 200 goals and 500 games. The road to two more points, 300 goals and 600 games begins Thursday.