PHILADELPHIA -- After collectively having one of their best, if not the best, games of the playoffs, members of the Bruins' top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Nathan Horton were all smiles on Sunday after the team's off-day practice at the Wells Fargo Center.
In Game 1, Krejci broke through for a four-point game, Horton had an assist, and Lucic was skating harder than he has since the regular season ended as the Bruins beat the Flyers 7-3. To Lucic and Horton, skating hard and creating space was the key to the game opening up and the trio generating the offense they had on so many occasions during the regular season.
“I think the reason why we had more space and we created more space is because I felt it was our best skating game as a line,” Lucic said. “I felt like I was moving my feet a lot better and skating a lot better. I think we were able to create a lot of speed and that’s why we were able to get chances and obviously score some goals. If you've got the ice, you've got to move your feet, and also support’s a big thing. For our line, we were coming up together better and we were supporting each other a lot better and that’s why we were able to get some results.”
Horton concurred and liked the effort he and his linemates displayed in Game 1.
“Even when we didn’t have the puck, we were skating to get it back,” Horton said. “Just skating hard; that’s how you’re going to get goals and that’s how you’re going to get the puck back is if you want to fight for the puck in the corners, battle it and just be determined. That’s what gets you the goals.”
Horton and Lucic benefitted from Krejci’s monster performance, as they have in being on the same line with the playmaker this season.
“It’s great. That’s the reason why we’ve both been able to play the way we have been this year,” Lucic said. “We feed off each other a lot and also Horton too. Horton and me are two big bodies and we just try and give him the puck and we get open for him. We got great shots and he’s a great playmaker so we just try and get open for him.”
Forward Chris Kelly was thrilled to see the hard work on the top line finally be rewarded in the playoffs, but unlike the media, Kelly and his teammates weren’t worried about Horton, Krejci and Lucic. They felt the top line was doing the little things it takes to win.
“It was great to see,” Kelly said. “I think for the first round maybe a lot of people -- the media -- obviously not seeing the production that they’re used to, but they were huge for us in that series. They were doing the little things that go unnoticed by other people, but not us and they were a big part of the reason we won that first series. Then for them to get rewarded offensively last night was great to see.”