Boston Bruins: Will Monday’s Goal Get Craig Smith Going?

Jan 26, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Craig Smith (12) reacts after scoring the game winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during an overtime period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 26, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Bruins right wing Craig Smith (12) reacts after scoring the game winning goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during an overtime period at the TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports /
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Over the last few years, one of the issues the Boston Bruins have had is finding secondary scoring behind the Perfection Line.

David Pastrnak has become one of the most prolific goal scorers in the NHL over the last couple of seasons, while Brad Marchand has become a point machine for the Bruins. After that, production has been an issue for coach Bruce Cassidy and his team.

In free agency in October, general manager Don Sweeney was relatively quiet in the open market. His biggest signing was adding former Nashville Predators forward Craig Smith on a three-year, $9.3 million deal. Smith was a 20-goal scorer in five of his nine seasons with the Preds and Sweeney was hoping he could bring that scoring touch to Boston.

Smith is a shooting machine from anywhere on the ice for the Bruins and can Monday’s goal get him going more consistently?

In basketball, all it takes sometimes for a shooter to get hot is seeing the ball go through the hoop. The Bruins are hoping the same could be true for Smith.

In Monday night’s 5-3 come-from-behind victory over Zdeno Chara and the Washington Capitals, the Bruins scored the game’s final five goals, including four in the third period. Smith scored his third goal of the season to tie the game 3-3 when he one-timed home a pass from Jeremy Lauzon.

Smith did not play in the first game of the year against the New Jersey Devils, but has dressed for the eight games since. In those eight games, he has taken 26 shots on net, which ties him for second on the team with Brad Marchand. Captain Patrice Bergeron leads the team with 38.

Last season in Nashville, Smith 10th in the league with almost 12 shots on net per 60 minutes. It’s easy to say that he’s a shooting machine.

Smith’s goal against the Capitals tied the game, but more importantly, the Bruins hope, gets him going scoring more consistently. With Jake DeBrusk sidelined with an injury, that leaves Boston’s option somewhat limited to who can pick some of the scoring slack behind the first line.

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The Bruins have two key early-season games over the next three nights against the Philadelphia Flyers on the road. Hopefully Smith’s goal Monday night can get the 31-year-old going in the goal-scoring department.