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Jim Montgomery Sensed David Krejci Returning To Form Vs. Flyers

Boston Bruins first-year coach Jim Montgomery noticed something different about David Krejci on Thursday night.

And it ended up benefitting the Bruins in a big way in their 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden.

Krejci hadn’t shown much of what he displayed in the win since returning from injury, which sidelined him for three games, earlier this month. The second-line center registered just a single point in his last five games, but returned to form against the Flyers by finding the back of the net twice in the third period as part of a strong all-around effort.

“I thought he was really on. Everything looked on,” Montgomery told reporters. “He looked faster. He was stronger on pucks. He was holding onto pucks. He was skating away from people. I could tell that he was on his game by how quickly he was closing in on people in the D-zone. I thought he was a great 200-foot player tonight.”

Krejci played a key role in helping the Bruins deliver their biggest response of the night. After Owen Tippet got the Flyers within one on a power-play goal midway through the final frame, Krejci rose to the occasion just 16 seconds later to grab momentum back for Boston.

He had assistance to do so from Pavel Zacha, who won a race to a loose puck in the offensive zone and slid a pass over to a charging Krejci. The 36-year-old then showcased his stellar stickhandling and finishing touch by going top shelf for a 3-1 advantage.

Krejci added a power-play tally with 3:39 remaining off a terrific feed from Nick Foligno to cap one of his best performances of the season. The strong showing was a sign of Krejci breaking out of his slump, which is just one more thing that’s going right for the Bruins in their splendid start.

“Hopefully (breaking out) but that’s not what I’m focused on,” Krejci told reporters. “Just trying to get better. I know if I’m on top of my game I can help the team offensively and put some points on the board. But that comes secondary. First of all, I want to keep getting better, doing the right things. And like I said, when I feel better then good things happen.”

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