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Tuesday, June 4, 2013
By far, numbers game in B's favor

By Brendan Hall

BEDFORD, Mass. -- The numbers the Bruins have put up in the Stanley Cup playoffs since their Game 7 overtime win over Toronto are quite dramatic.

Over the last eight games, the Bruins outscored the opposition by a 2-to-1 margin, 30-15, including commanding performances over Pittsburgh in Games 1 and 2 in this best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final, which continues Wednesday night at TD Garden with Game 3.

The Bruins are also out-shooting their opponents 280-241, contributing to a 7-1 record over that span.

While the general theme of the last two series has been the Bruins’ ability to evenly roll four lines without any dropoff in pressure, a look inside the numbers suggests the top line of David Krejci, Nathan Horton and Milan Lucic -- and the Krejci-Horton connection specifically -- has been the biggest catalyst.

Krejci leads all playoff scorers in points (20) and goals (eight), while Horton leads all skaters in plus-minus (plus-19) by a wide margin. Since that epic win over Toronto, Krejci and Horton have combined for 20 points (11 by Horton), and Horton has been plus-11.

In the first two games of this current series alone, Krejci and Horton are a combined plus-8, with eight points.

This is a much different Horton from the one that sputtered late in the regular season, then missed some time due to an injury sustained in a fight with Pittsburgh’s Jarome Iginla.

There has been much more bounce in Horton’s step. He has been diving and driving to the net and creating many scoring chances. What’s been the difference?

“I guess everything,” Krejci said. “His energy level is really up there, he just moves beautiful. He moves to score, he moves to make a difference every shift. Every game he brings his A-game, and it helps me and Looch as well.”