“Brian’s easy to play with. Everyone on this team is,” said Kreider, who could have unique chemistry with the 6-foot-7 Boyle because of both players’ reach and BC background. “He does some things where you shake your head because its something he might’ve picked up at BC. He’s a real approachable, personable guy.”
For the most part, Kreider skated only in even strength situations against the Bruins. That seemed to limit his ice time, with Boyle and captain Ryan Callahan killing penalties and Pyatt often slid to fill the captain’s spot on the second line. That sort of flow is different for Kreider, but is certainly not an issue, he said.
“It’s not hard to stay in these games. You’re always excited, encouraging the guys. At this level, you’re always up for the games.”
Coming out of a four minute Boston power play, which New York killed, Kreider took a shift with top center Brad Richards and nearly created a scoring chance in the offensive end. Coach John Tortorella also called on his line after the Bruins’ crucial third goal. Both situations were a glimpse of the trust and offensive ability Kreider showcased in last spring’s playoffs.
“He’s getting his feet wet,” Callahan said of his rookie teammate. “He’s such a big guy ... he’s going to be good for us.”
Kreider, a 2009 first round draft choice, worked primarily against Boston defensemen Andrew Ference and Adam McQuiad. He was credited with his first regular season hit when he checked Ference in the first period — “If you don’t finish checks in this league, you don’t play,” Kreider said — and was jostling for position with fellow Boxford native and Bruins winger Chris Bourque in front of the net in the third period.