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марта 1998 года.
Something old, Something new. Khristich and Samsonov bring instant offense to Bruins.
By Jim Greenidge, Globe Staff, 03/16/98
''We had that kind of combination before the winter break and we did very good, too,'' Khristich said, ''but we didn't stay together for a long time. One game we didn't perform well and the next game we were separated. I think it's a pretty good line for us. If we're playing well, teams get worried, and we're getting wins.''
Khristich, with two goals and five points in the Bruins' 5-1 decision over the visiting Rangers Saturday, now has 50 points, with 24 goals. This is the fifth time he's had 20 or more goals. Over the last eight games, while with Allison and Samsonov, he has had 14 points, with six goals. The line has had 42 points (18 goals) over that time.
An eight-year veteran, Khristich came to the Bruins in a trade with Los Angeles in August. He was the Kings' top scorer last season with 56 points (19 goals), and he is the Bruins' No. 2 scorer, behind Allison's 70 points. Just once in the last eight games has Khristich not scored a point.
This is the best stretch Khristich has had this season. He has had two other games in which he's scored two goals, against the Islanders Dec. 20 and vs. the Penguins Feb. 28. He's had three points in three other games, a goal and two assists at Florida Nov. 26, and three assists, at Tampa Bay Dec. 27 and at Washington March 3.
''I think I'm playing pretty good and I feel pretty good, too,'' said Khristich, who has a plus-19 rating after being a plus-4 against the Rangers. ''It's nice to feel this way.''
He is careful, nevertheless, not to get too excited. ''[The Rangers] game, yes, but overall, it's still far away,'' he said. ''Some games are successful and, hopefully, it's going to be more often.''
Khristich said the line is doing nothing new. ''I don't think we tried anything different,'' he said. ''We just tried to play our game. We just tried to get the puck to each other and get position while passing and shooting the puck. Everything was clicking for us. Everything was happening.''
Khristich appreciates Allison's puck handling. ''He's holding the puck pretty good and I have a little more time to get open,'' said Khristich, who has 111 shots (six Saturday) and leads the NHL in shooting percentage. ''He's a good passer. Sometimes he holds it too long, but I understand he waits for the timing to make a pass. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.''
As for Samsonov, Khristich likes the way he darts around. ''He's got a lot of speed, he's got a lot of movement,'' he said. ''My job and Allison's job is to keep him under control, yelling for the puck, because he doesn't see you right away. In the third period the other night, he looked at me before he got the puck and he passed it to me. He knew what he was going to do before he got the puck. A lot of times he doesn't see the option and he tries to beat the people in front.''
With Khristich's line clicking, it's important the Bruins get scoring from other lines as well.
''Obviously, we would like for everyone on the team to perform and get some points,'' he said. ''It would be easy. If it happens for our line to be hot, that's the way it will be.''
He pointed out the game against Detroit last week, a 6-3 Bruins win, in which ''the other guys jumped in and helped. If that would be the way, that would be fine, too. I don't see anything wrong with that.''
Indeed, that would be a nice blend with the Bruins' defense-minded style.
This story ran on page D03 of the Boston Globe on 03/16/98.