BOSTON (AP) — David Krejci returned from a five-game absence looking like he hadn’t missed much time at all.
Krejci had a goal and an assist as Boston routed the San Jose Sharks 5-1 on Tuesday night.
“We need him going. We know that. It was good to get off on the right foot tonight,” coach Bruce Cassidy said of Krejci. “He can drive a line when he’s going. We didn’t expect him to do that necessarily tonight. He’s missed time, but that’s what we want out of David.”
Krejci scored one of two power-play goals for Boston in the first period and added an assist in the second period in his first game since Oct. 14.
Krejci was one of five different players to score for the Bruins, who won their fourth straight and improved to 6-0-2 in their last eight.
“I watched lots of games the last couple of games. I like a lot from this team. Guys have been playing really well. They’re sticking up for each other as well, so that’s always nice to see,” Krejci said. “It was just great to be out there with the guys.”
Krejci assisted on Charlie Coyle’s goal early in the second after Brent Burns had pulled San Jose within 2-1 on what would be the only goal of the night for the Sharks.
David Pastrnak also scored for the Bruins, getting his league-leading 12th on a power-play in the first period, and Chris Wagner finished with a goal and an assist for Boston.
The Bruins kept the road-weary Sharks from generating any offensive push, holding San Jose to just six shots in each of the first two periods.
Martin Jones had a busy night, stopping 36 shots and keeping the rout from getting worse than it was.
San Jose captain Logan Couture delivered a harsh assessment of the Sharks, who lost their third straight and went 1-3-1 on a five-game Eastern Conference road trip.
“We didn’t execute. We didn’t make plays. We didn’t spend any time in the offensive zone. It may have looked like effort, but that was just us getting caught out on long shifts and guys were tired,” Couture said. “We had some shifts when they were in our zone for two minutes. Obviously not good enough — not close to good enough. We’re definitely going through a tough time right now.”
Coyle redirected a shot from Krejci to put the Bruins up 3-1 at 5:21 of the second, then Wagner slipped a backhand between Jones’ pads on a breakaway to make it 4-1 at 8:31 of the second. It was the first goal of the season for Wagner, who picked up an assist at 16:50 when Brandon Carlo scored on a high shot from the point.
It could have been worse for San Jose without some big saves by Jones. Jones made back-to-back saves on Coyle and Sean Kuraly from just outside the crease with about eight minutes left in the period and stopped Wagner on another breakaway just before the buzzer.
There was no scoring in the third period, when the linesmen got a workout keeping several fights from happening with the game already out of hand.
The officials stepped in twice early in the third to keep Zdeno Chara and San Jose’s Evander Kane from fighting. Brett Ritchie and San Jose’s Barclay Goodrow did square off with 7:21 in a bout that ended after Ritchie landed a string of solid punches. Both got fighting majors and 10-minute misconducts.
The Sharks ended up with 16 penalties for a total of 57 minutes. Boston had 10 penalties for 47 minutes.
NOTES: Tuukka Rask made 16 saves for the Bruins. . Boston has outscored its opponents 19-7 during its four-game winning streak. ... Krejci returned after missing five straight games with an upper-body injury. ... Brad Marchand’s assist on Krejci’s goal in the first extended his point streat to 11 games with assists in each of the last 10. ... Pastrnak has at least a point in 10 straight games. ... Wagner missed Boston’s win Sunday at New York after blocking a shot Saturday against St. Louis. ... San Jose was outscored 14-3 over its last three games. The Sharks fell to 0-6-0 when trailing after the first period.
Sharks: Host Winnipeg on Friday night.
Bruins: Host Ottawa on Saturday night.