Boston Bruins: The second line is making a difference in the playoffs

May 17, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) scores a goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2021; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Taylor Hall (71) scores a goal against the Washington Capitals during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Capital One Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports /
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Since the trade deadline, the Boston Bruins have been a different team. That has partly been due to the play of their second line. In the playoffs so far, David Krejci, Taylor Hall, and Craig Smith have continued to be a dominant line. As the Bruins have taken a 2-1 series lead against Washington, their second line has been key to their success.

Through the first three games of the series, Boston has outscored Washington 9-7. The Bruins second line has accounted for three of those goals. While every game has been decided in overtime, the Bruins have gotten timely scoring from their top six. In their first postseason with the Bruins, Hall and Smith have come as advertised.

So far in the series, Boston’s second line has combined for six points. They have been lead by Craig Smith, who has a team-high three points, including an overtime goal on Wednesday night. While David Krejci has yet to score a goal, Hall and Smith’s scores have either tied the game or given Boston a lead. As the Bruins look to make a deep playoff run, their play will be vital.

During the regular season, Hall, Smith, and Krejci were problematic for opponents. In the playoffs so far, it has been the same story. The Bruins second line is the only group on the team with more than one player with multiple goals. The trio has also not been afraid to shoot the puck and has landed 24 shots on goal. In the first round, they have provided a good bulk of the Bruins offense.

Over the past few years, secondary scoring has been an issue for this team. Since the trade deadline, that has not been the case, as the Bruins now have a formidable top six. Hall, Krejci, and Smith are creating scoring chances and have shown great puck possession. Through the first three games of the series, they have created 27 scoring chances.

Over the final 17 games of the regular season, the Bruins were the second-best 5-on-5 scoring team in the league. Krejci’s line has continued to have success in the playoffs and is a plus-seven in scoring chances when they are on the ice.

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As the Bruins look to take a 3-1 series lead on Friday, they will need their second line at its best. While the postseason is less than two weeks old, Krejci’s line has picked up where they left off in the regular season.