David Krejci of the Boston Bruins celebrates after a goal...

David Krejci of the Boston Bruins celebrates after a goal against Roberto Luongo of the Vancouver Canucks during Game Three of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Final at TD Garden. (June 6, 2011) Credit: Getty

BOSTON -- Although David Krejci is the NHL's leading playoff scorer and the Bruins' first-line center, he can still walk around Boston pretty much unnoticed.

And it's not just because his unruly playoff beard resembles a disguise at this point.

The Czech forward doesn't mind that he hasn't attracted nearly the international attention he probably deserved heading into the Bruins' Stanley Cup elimination game against the Vancouver Canucks last night.

Krejci has been a quietly dependable contributor for Boston for four seasons, maturing into a standout playmaker even before this breakout postseason. Yet he realizes he's still Plan B on the Bruins' top line, getting the spot after Marc Savard's concussions sidelined him.

Krejci says he still hears criticism despite his relative anonymity, and he realizes the Boston crowd can be tough after only a handful of unsuccessful shifts. But this playoff run has toughened up Krejci, who intends to keep improving next season.

"It hasn't been easy," Krejci said after the Bruins' pregame skate. "One day you're a hero, then the next day you shouldn't be on the power play." Krejci had 11 goals and 11 assists in 23 postseason games heading into Game 6 at the Garden, where the Bruins last night attempted to send the series to a decisive seventh game in Vancouver tomorrow. Although his power-play production is down, he is the Bruins' leading goal-scorer in the playoffs, including four game-winners.

"I guess I'm more of a shooter now," said a grinning Krejci, who has never scored more than 22 goals in a regular season. "This year I've been better 5-on-5 [than on the power play], but I don't need to come out and make a play. I don't care if the power play is good or not. We're in the final, and that's all that matters."

Krejci had one goal and four assists in the first five games of the finals, steadily maintaining his playmaking pace after a slow first round -- and he's even doing it without Nathan Horton.

Krejci had the luxury of spending almost the entire season centering Milan Lucic and Horton, an oasis of continuity in a sport with ever-changing combinations. Krejci's soft hands and pinpoint passing skills are an ideal complement to Lucic and Horton, two hard-nosed wings who enjoy driving the net -- but Horton was sidelined for the series with a concussion early in Game 3.

Krejci scored four points in the ensuing two games to help Boston even the finals. Yet Krejci just doesn't attract attention despite his easygoing demeanor and impressive skills, which include faceoff proficiency.

Oh, he made headlines early last season -- when he caught a case of swine flu.

Bruins defenseman Tomas Kaberle, who played with Krejci on the Czech national team at the Vancouver Olympics, describes the center as reserved and shy.

"He's not a flashy guy, but he's very strong and skilled, just an all-around good player," Kaberle said. "He doesn't have the biggest name, but he's going to have it before too long."

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