The Bruins beat the Red Wings, 4-2, and improved to 2-0 in the preseason Tuesday night as their young guys continued to impress. The team will be working some rookies into its lineup this season, but the question remains: Who will make the cut? The decision is likely going to come down to the wire since more and more players are making strong cases for themselves.
Local boy Ryan Fitzgerald opened up the scoring in the second period off a slick give-and-go with Jakub Zboril. Krejci found Fitzgerald who dished the puck off to Zboril and went to the net. Zboril cruised down the boards and threaded a pass back for a wide-open shot from the slot.
Very nice moment for Fitzgerald, who was playing in front of his friends and family, including his father, former Bruin Tom Fitzgerald.
Midway through the second period, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson carried the puck into the offensive zone around two Red Wings and hit a streaking Danton Heinen with a perfect pass for an easy backdoor tap in.
JFK impressed on this play but later took a hard, awkward fall into the end boards and left the game. He was the second player injured in the game, in addition to Torey Krug, who took a shot to the mouth in the first period. Head coach Bruce Cassidy did not offer a specific update after the game, but said he does not believe either injury is serious.
Familiar face Austin Czarnik was showing off his speediness all night long. Late in the second period, he was tripped on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot. A couple of head fakes and a quick release allowed him to beat Red Wings goaltender Jared Coreau to extend the lead to 3-0.
Czarnik picked up his second point of the game in the third period by teeing up Teddy Purcell on a three-on-one rush. The veteran Purcell is with the team on a professional tryout and proved that he can still put the puck in the net.
Bruins backup goalie Anton Khudobin played the full 60 minutes, allowing two goals on 22 shots. Khudobin would likely want one of those goals back after Dylan Larkin banked a shot off of his mask and in from behind the goal line. Other than that, he was poised and robbed the Red Wings on a few high-quality chances.
- We got our first look at the potential opening night second line of DeBrusk-Krejci-Pastrnak. DeBrusk played with a lot of confidence, winning battles and taking the puck to the net while putting three shots on goal. With the speed, strength and skill he brings to the table, he absolutely looks NHL ready.
- After dealing with nagging injuries last season, David Krejci finally looked like himself again. He was using his patience and passing abilities to make plays all over the ice. When healthy and on his game, Krejci is a dominant playmaker who can rack up points in a hurry. With youthful, agile wingers flanking him, look out.
- The Bruins are LOADED with options for the bottom six of their offense. JFK, Jesse Gabrielle, Austin Czarnik, Danton Heinen, Sean Kuraly and Ryan Fitzgerald are all making strong cases for themselves early on. Players such as Ryan Spooner, Riley Nash, Tim Schaller and Frank Vatrano are going to need to have consistent years in order to keep their spots in the lineup. Not to take anything away from their games and the roles they play, but the kids are coming.