Over the course of the next week, BostonBruins.com will be taking a look back at some of the most memorable moments of the 2013-14 season. Make sure to follow along on the Bruins Blog.
BostonBruins.com — Many a time, Boston Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien has said this of his team: “We don’t panic.”
This season, the Bruins established themselves as a group that doesn’t get rattled. They don’t get down on themselves. They don’t stop fighting until the final horn sounds, and never was that more evident than on October 24, 2013.
The Bruins, 6-2 overall at the time, were facing perhaps the fiercest team in the league in the San Jose Sharks. The Sharks, at 8-0-1, had yet to suffer a regulation loss at any point that season, and it looked like they were well on their way to keeping that streak alive on that fateful Thursday night in Boston.
As the final 10 seconds of the game ticked down, the score remained knotted at 1-1. Both goaltenders had been outstanding all night. Boston’s Tuukka Rask made 38 saves, limiting San Jose to just one Patrick Marleau goal, while Antti Niemi made 15 stops — his only mistake had been allowing Jarome Iginla’s first goal as a Bruin.
With time ticking down in the final frame, the Bruins initiated one last breakout. Krejci took the puck up the right side and dished to Lucic, who dumped it into the corner. With three seconds left, Lucic found an open Adam McQuaid at the point. McQuaid fired on net, and David Krejci — planted in front of the crease — deflected the puck past Niemi to make it 2-1 Boston with 0.8 seconds left in regulation.
“We stuck with it," Krejci said afterward. "The last goal was a perfect example of not trying to be too cute. A few seconds left into the game, Looch chips it in to himself, gets it back, point shot, a lot of traffic. So we just stuck with our system and got the job done."
Krejci said that he had no idea how much time was left on the clock when he made the game-winning play.
“I thought it might be more than like 10 seconds, 10-15, 20 seconds," he said. "But when we all came together [after the goal], Looch told me 'Look up.’ So I looked up and it was 0.8 [seconds]. So it was even sweeter."
Throughout the course of the season, the Bruins would learn how to win games in a variety of ways. They would win blowouts, they would win in overtime, they would win in shootouts, and of course, they would win in nail-biters. There was no game, however, that was closer than this one, and it took a solid net-front presence to get the job done.
“If you look at the past several years, that’s the way we’ve scored a majority of our goals,” Lucic said afterward. “We need guys to get to the front of the net and pick up on those loose pucks and get tips like we did on that last goal."
Added Krejci, “I think early on in the season, we're learning to win games in different ways. Today was one of them. It was a tough one, but we got it done."
The fact that this win came against a Western Conference powerhouse, and with less than a second left on the clock — and the fact that it allowed the Bruins to extend their winning streak to four games — made the victory all the more exciting.
“It was cool,” Krejci said. “I can't remember if I ever scored a goal like that in the last second. So it was maybe even more special, especially against a team like that. So yeah, I was pretty happy about it."
A few weeks later, as he revisited the play, Krejci gave plenty of credit to McQuaid for seeing him open in front of the net and setting him up with the perfect opportunity for a tip.
He also gave a hat-tip to the hockey gods.
“You need a little luck as well,” he said. “I believe I got luck on that one, the tip, and basically everything worked out, from the breakout to the goal.”