David Krejci has no ill effects in return

BOSTON -- When Boston Bruins forward David Krejci opened his eyes Saturday morning after a good night's sleep, he knew he would be able to play.

He missed six games because of a moderate concussion he suffered Nov. 6 against the St. Louis Blues, but he started feeling much better the past two days, which was a sure indication he could return to action.

During his absence, Krejci was still able to skate, and when he was given clearance to play, he couldn't wait to get back. For good measure, he participated in the pregame warm-up Saturday night and was deemed ready to go for puck drop against the Los Angeles Kings.

"Krejci was good tonight," Claude Julien said after his Bruins lost to the Kings 4-3 in a shootout. "He didn't look like a guy who has been out for a week and a half. He seemed like he had a lot of energy. It didn't seem like anything slowed down, and he made some good plays."

Julien didn't envision the skilled forward playing as much as he did (22 minutes of ice time), but because he showed no ill effects, it was a normal night for Krejci.

"I guess that's the best way to get back in the game, is to put me in the same situations I played before," Krejci said. "I felt pretty good out there. Obviously, it wasn't my best game, but as a team we battled hard. We got a good point, so that's a positive thing. I just believe that I'll be better every game now."

During Krejci's brief hiatus, Julien inserted Patrice Bergeron onto the team's top line, along with highly skilled wingers Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic. While that line was productive as a unit, Julien didn't hesitate putting Krejci back with his linemates.

"He helps us a lot," Bruins forward Gregory Campbell said. "Bergy did a great job on that line, but that line was playing really well when [Krejci] was in. He's a pretty skilled player, and with those two on his wing, he creates a lot for those guys and helps on the power play and just helps throughout the whole lineup and gives us that extra offensive ability."

When Krejci suffered the concussion, he knew his absence would be brief.

After the game Nov. 6, he went home, watched a movie and ordered food. He had a headache but didn't have any trouble sleeping.

"I knew it would be only a week or two," he said. "It was going to be short. Now it's past me. I feel good to play, so I'm happy I was back on the ice today."

He did concede he was a little nervous about getting hit.

"Obviously, it was in the back of my head a little bit, but I tried not to think about it," Krejci said. "It's kind of hard not to think about it, but once the game started, it kind of all went away. Injuries like that, it's not funny. You have to be careful, and I played carefully, but I can't do that. I've just got to be focused 100 percent for [the next game] and not about my old injuries."

Joe McDonald covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.