Boston Bruins

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 16: David Krejci #46 of the Boston Bruins takes the puck in the third period against the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on January 16, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the game is played without fans. The New Jersey Devils defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The first of three assists from Bruins center David Krejci in a 4-1 victory over the Sabres on Thursday night elevated the career-long Boston pivot into an elite group.

The assist, which came on a Jake DeBrusk power-play tally that held as the game-winning goal, made Krejci just the eighth player in franchise history to hit the 700-point mark with the Bruins. The other players on that list? Wayne Cashman, Bobby Orr, Patrice Bergeron, Rick Middleton, Phil Esposito Johnny Bucyk, and Ray Bourque.

As mentioned, that’s something elite territory for the Czech-born center.

“I think Bruins fans know his importance, especially come playoff time,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said of Krejci’s milestone. “He really brings it every year, have that one-two punch with him and [Patrice Bergeron].”

On the board with three helpers in the win, Krejci had primary helpers on goals to both DeBrusk and Craig Smith, and added a three with an apple on the David Pastrnak power-play bomb that made it a three-goal lead for Boston. The first two were of particular importance to the Bruins, really, with DeBrusk and Smith both the latest wings to get a chance on a second line that’s yet to fire at the speed that the Black and Gold want a need to be a true Stanley Cup threat in 2021.

“As for heating up, it’s been well documented: We need our centermen to drive the lines they’re on and he’s a big part if DeBrusk and Smitty are going to get going,” Cassidy noted. “So good to see Krech find it today. Some of it’s power play, but that’s OK. Those goals count, too, right? So he was making some plays otherwise.

“Onto 800 now.”