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After reaching 20 goals, Milan Lucic has a new number in mind

01.27.11 at 12:41 am ET
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Milan Lucic has made his pre-season predictions look very modest. (AP)

Milan Lucic had a number in mind before the season. That number was 20.

Never in his three-year career had Lucic reached the 20-goal plateau, and after scoring 17 goals in the 2008-09 campaign, he took a statistical step backwards — both in games played and in scoring — when injuries limited him to 50 regular season contests last season.

After scoring nine goals in the injury-shortened season, Lucic entered training camp set on not only surpassing his career-high 17, but finally scoring 20.

“I feel like have the ability to help contribute to this team a little bit more,” Lucic said on Sept. 21. “I still in my three years haven’t been able to hit the 20-goal mark. I feel like that’s a realistic goal for me this year and that’s a personal goal that I should be able to meet.”

Lucic expanded his team-leading goal count in the second period when David Krejci won a face-off clean and drew it back to him at the top of the left circle. The 22-year-old fired a quick snapshot past Tomas Vokoun to give the B’s a 2-0 lead and meet his personal goal before the All-Star break.

“It’s great,” Lucic said of finally being a 20-goal scorer. “It’s obviously something that I talked about coming in, and that was a goal for myself and I reached it as quickly as [I did]. … It’s a good step for me and I couldn’t be happier right now, but definitely not satisfied.”

Twenty was the number in September. In revising his hopes for the season, Lucic had a new number Wednesday night.

“One game at a time, one goal at a time,” Lucic said, “so we’ll see where I can get to this year.”

The uptick in No. 17′s scoring has been a big factor in the team’s first-place standing in the Northeast Division at the break. Krejci doesn’t see Lucic as the only one benefiting from the left-winger’s scoring this season.

“It’s good,” Krejci said of seeing Lucic’s production. “Especially when he’s on my line.”

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