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David Krejci: ‘We don’t have guys like [Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin], we have a team’

The question was innocent enough. After scoring two more playoff goals in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals against Pittsburgh Saturday, David Krejci [1] was asked if he considers himself in the same class as Sidney Crosby [2] and Evgeni Malkin.

“No. Those guys, I think they’re the best players in the world at this moment,” he answered after Saturday’s 3-0 Bruins’ win in Game 1. “There’s no one like those guys. On the other hand, we don’t have guys like that. We have a team. We all play as a team.”

Krejci, with seven goals and 12 assists, now leads all scorers in the Stanley Cup [3] playoffs with 19 points. In yet another parallel with 2011, when the Bruins won it all, Krejci is leading the way. That year, Krejci had 12 goals and 11 assists in leading the Bruins to the Cup. The next three leading scorers in the playoffs are Penguins [4] in Malkin (16 points), Kris Letang (16) and Crosby (15) and then another Bruin and Krejci line-mate in Nathan Horton [5], who scored the third and final goal of the night, and also has 15 points in the playoffs.

“I think Nathan played really well today,” Krejci said. “He set me up for my two goals. He scored a big one in the third. [Tuukka Rask [6]] played pretty good, as well. I think it was pretty good effort by all the guys and a big win.”

Krejci was asked after his second goal that made it 2-0 whether it felt like the Bruins were playing with house money.

“I think so,” Krejci said. “You know, I think Tookes made some big saves in the third period. You know, that’s not our hockey, playing up and down. We want to play good defensively and play in their zone. They’re a good team, so it’s tough to do that. But the second goal was pretty big for our team. I think right after that we took over and kind of controlled the game from there.”

Here is the remainder of Krejci’s postgame press conference with reporters on Saturday night:

Q. Your thoughts on, as the game progressed, you had the little scrum at the end of the second period, then played well in the third. The feeling as a team coming off the ice to end that first game with one win to start. : You know what, I think it was a good win. I think it took lots of energy. It wasn’t easy. I don’t know why, maybe because we had a week off. For some reason, I found it very tough. But we got a win. We got a day off tomorrow so we got to regroup and get ready for Monday.

Q. It seems like when things get hectic out there, you still manage to keep your levelheadedness. You stay even, not get panicky. How do you keep calm?: I don’t know. That’s just how I play. Some players are different. I play the way I play, so… I don’t really have an answer for that question.

Q. The first period, you couldn’t really get the forecheck going. As the game went along, it seemed like you started to get that zone time you talked about. Anything change or just getting comfortable on the road? : You know what, it was tough. I think they had pretty good start. They had some good chances. They play in their zone a lot. We were getting in some troubles. We couldn’t get a puck deep, couldn’t get a forecheck going. After we scored the first goal, it kind of turned around and we started playing in their zone a little more. In the second, third period, we played the way we play.