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Bruins pick up exhibition win over Blue Jackets

10.06.16 at 11:54 pm ET
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Matt Beleskey and Seth Griffith scored their first goals of the preseason as the Bruins picked up a 2-1 exhibition over the Blue Jackets Thursday night.

Anton Khudobin got the start for the Bruins, stopping all 11 shots he saw over a period and a half before giving way to Malcolm Subban midway through the second period. Subban made 16 saves on 17 shots, allowing just a third-period goal to Brandon Saad.

The B’s are now 3-2-1 in the preseason heading into Saturday’s finale against the Flyers. The regular season will begin next Thursday in Columbus.

Video: Anton Khudobin has a color-changing goalie mask

10.06.16 at 11:45 am ET
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BRIGHTON — Anton Khudobin didn’t recycle his old mask from 2013 when he came back to the Bruins this offseason. That’s good, because I’m 99 percent sure the last one didn’t change color depending on temperature.

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Kevan Miller being evaluated for lower-body injury

10.05.16 at 1:42 pm ET
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BRIGHTON — Kevan Miller is being evaluated by team doctors after exiting Tuesday night’s preseason game with a lower-body injury.

Miller appeared to get hit in the knee with a shot in the first period Tuesday night against the Canadiens and limped down the tunnel after exiting the ice.

The B’s kept him off the ice for Wednesday’s practice. Claude Julien stressed that the Bruins aren’t concerned that it’s a major injury, but that the team is being careful.

“Right now I would say there’s no reason to think it’s bad,” Julien said, “but again, who knows nowadays? We’re just being sure he’s evaluated. Probably by [Thursday] we’ll have a better indication on that. We’re hoping it’s minor and we’re just being extremely cautious.”

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Canadiens beat Bruins in Quebec City exhibition

10.04.16 at 10:58 pm ET
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Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara

Zdeno Chara’s preseason debut did not end well.

One of four Bruins playing in their first game since returning from the World Cup of Hockey, Chara turned the puck over to lead to the game-winning goal in a 4-3 Canadiens win in Quebec City. A pass from Chara late in the third period was intercepted by Daniel Carr, with the Montreal forward then beating Adam McQuaid and Tuukka Rask.

Christian Ehroff, making his Bruins debut, scored one of Boston’s three goals. Also scoring for the B’s were Ryan Spooner and Austin Czarnik, the latter of whom scored shorthanded.

Spooner skated on a line with David Krejci and David Backes, a trio of centers that the team might consider in the regular season. David Pastrnak filled out Boston’s top line with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand.

The Bruins have two preseason games remaining before they open the season next Thursday.

Bruins trying out center-heavy Spooner-Krejci-Backes line

10.04.16 at 12:08 pm ET
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David Krejci

David Krejci

BRIGHTON — For the second straight day, the Bruins iced a line consisting of David Krejci between Ryan Spooner and David Backes in practice at Warrior Ice Arena. By the looks of it (and by what Claude Julien essentially confirmed), it figures to be a line used in Tuesday night’s exhibition against the Canadiens when Krejci makes his return from hip surgery.

Considering there are only three preseason games left, the idea that the B’s would use that line at this point suggests they’re actually taking it seriously. The Bruins figured to be loaded at center after signing Backes, but three centers on one line?

“Obviously it’s something new,” Krejci said. “New linemates, but I’m pretty excited. We have three centermen. If I’m having a tough time on the draw, those two other guys can step in. Spoons is a lefty, so he can take some draws as well. I’m really excited. I’ve known Spoons for a long time. Backes, I’ve played against him for a really long time, so I know him as well. I know what he can do; hopefully we can click right away and who knows? Maybe stick together for some time.”

Though he didn’t fully admit it, it’s entirely possible that Julien got the idea for such a line while coaching at the World Cup of Hockey, where Team Canada had only two actual wingers (Brad Marchand and Corey Perry) on its roster. The rest of the forwards were centers, meaning every line was loaded with multiple pivots. Canada’s first line had three-time Selke-winning center Patrice Bergeron playing right wing.

“We had a lot of centers playing wing,” Julien said. “It was great for faceoffs; one gets kicked out, the other goes in. They adapted well; it just gave us more flexibility. It’s hard to replace a center; it’s much easier to replace a winger.”

“We’ve got the opportunity to see what it’s going to give us tonight,” Julien said. “We want to see different things and see where it goes. It just makes our decisions a lot easier when we’ve had the chance see it vs. wondering what if we would have done this or that. We’re trying everything right now. For sure, by the start of the season we’ll certainly have a much clearer picture. That doesn’t mean it’s going to be set in stone, but at least we’ll have some options.”

If the Bruins were to use such a line in the regular season, they’d still easily have the centers to fill out the rest of their lineup. Dominic Moore figures to center the fourth line, while Austin Czarnik’s strong training camp could make him a candidate to center the third line.

If that second part sounds like a stretch, look no further than another line that was used Tuesday morning: Beleskey-Czarnik-Hayes.

Boston’s lines Tuesday morning were as follows:


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David Krejci, Torey Krug to play Tuesday vs. Canadiens

10.03.16 at 5:41 pm ET
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David Krejci

David Krejci

Prior to training camp, both David Krejci and Torey Krug expressed their intentions to play in next Thursday’s season opener. Barring setbacks, that appears to be in the cards.

With three preseason games left before the regular season begins, both rehabbing players will get into exhibition action Tuesday against the Canadiens in Quebec City. The team announced the roster Monday evening, hours after Claude Julien intimidated they would play soon.

“They have to. I think that they’re that close that we will see them,” Julien said Monday afternoon. “I think there’s some decisions that have to be made, probably today, in talking to the medical crew and all that stuff, whether they’re ready tomorrow or whether they’re ready Thursday. That’s what we’ve got to kind of [figure out] in the next few hours.”

Krejci is coming off offseason hip surgery, while Krug had a shoulder operation following last season. If they don’t play Tuesday in Quebec City, they could still get into a game either Thursday in Columbus or Saturday against the Flyers.

The roster for Tuesday’s game is as follows:

Forwards: Noel Acciari, David Backes, Matt Beleskey, Patrice Bergeron, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Jimmy Hayes, David Krejci, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Tyler Randell, Tim Schaller, Ryan Spooner

Defensemen: Zdeno Chara, Christian Ehrhoff, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Colin Miller, Kevan Miller, and Rob O’Gara.

Goalies: Tuukka Rask and Malcolm Subban

Brad Marchand says deal was pretty much done before Sidney Crosby speculation began

10.03.16 at 1:09 pm ET
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Brad Marchand

Brad MarchandBra

BRIGHTON — Brad Marchand knew well before signing his contract extension last week that he’d be staying in Boston on a long-term deal. In his words, it was “so close to being done” before he left for the World Cup of Hockey, and that minor details needed to be tied up before his eight-year pact would be signed.

Other people knew as well, a group that obviously included his agent and Bruins management. Patrice Bergeron also knew, as it would have been pretty inconsiderate to keep him in the dark as seemingly logical speculation began to emerge that his longtime linemate could run off with World Cup linemate Sidney Crosby next summer.

“I was in the loop with him,” Bergeron said Monday. “I kind of knew what was going on. Otherwise I would have been worried for sure, especially the way he was playing with Sid and the chemistry they had, but it’s well-deserved.“

Said Marchand: “It was funny. The deal was pretty much done when some of that stuff was all coming out. It was tough for me to comment, but it was interesting. We had some good laughs about it, but ultimately we knew we were going to be here where we wanted to be.”

Without knowing that a deal with Boston was all but done, it would be hard to blame someone for thinking that the Penguins might do what they could to land Marchand as a free agent. Skating with Crosby and Bergeron, Marchand led the World Cup of Hockey with five goals in six games.

With Marchand coming off a 37-goal season and Crosby still being Crosby, the duo could have been dominant in Pittsburgh, but Marchand passed that up by forgoing free agency and taking eight years — something no other team could give him — in Boston. In order to take the maximum eight years, Marchand accepted a lower cap hit than he’d have gotten elsewhere, with his $6.125 million average annual value sitting lower than he could have easily commanded on the open market.

“I wanted to be here as long as I can and play as long as I possibly can,” he said. “That’s where I think the eighth year came in for myself and for the team allowed a lower cap hit. I don’t think at the end of the day I’m more concerned with the overall dollar value as I am about being part of this team for a long time.”

Marchand also admitted part of signing before his walk year was to avoid the attention that accompanies free agents to-be. He said Loui Eriksson’s final season in Boston was cumbersome for both the player and his teammates.

“I just remember watching Loui last year and what we all had to deal with with answering questions all the time and the uncertainty about him being around this year,” Marchand said. “It’s a lot to weigh on the players, on the minds of everyone, on himself and on the management where instead of focusing on individual players and where they’re going to be, more about the team stuff and what we needed to do to win. I think all that is something we had in mind. We wanted to get it done and put it behind us.”

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