|09.30.15 at 9:57 pm ET|
The Bruins fell to the Rangers, 3-2, in preseason action Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. The game was followed by a mandatory 3-on-3 session that yielded no scoring.
The Bruins got a pair of goals from Brett Connolly, the first of which came on Boston’s first shot of the game. Connolly took a feed from Jimmy Hayes and tapped it past Henrik Lundqvist to give the B’s a 1-0 lead early in the first period. With the Bruins trailing by two goals late in regulation, Connolly scored with an extra attacker on to bring the B’s within one.
Jonas Gustavsson, who remains on a professional tryout with the B’s, got the start in net for Boston. He stopped 24 of the 27 shots he faced, first getting beaten at 16:27 of the second period on a Ryan McDonagh shot through traffic. The goal, which was credited to Viktor Stalberg, was followed by a J.T. Miller tally in the final minute of the second. The Rangers then took a 3-1 lead on a power play goal from Rick Nash.
The Bruins will conclude their preseason schedule when they face the Capitals Friday night at the Verizon Center.
|09.30.15 at 11:54 am ET|
|09.29.15 at 6:00 pm ET|
Free agent left wing Daniel Paille has signed a tryout agreement with the Rockford IceHogs, the AHL affiliate of the Blackhawks. The agreement was announced by the IceHogs Tuesday afternoon.
Paille, whom the Bruins declined to re-sign this summer in free agency, had attended the Blackhawks’ camp on a professional tryout before being released from camp Monday.
The 31-year-old Paille spent six seasons with the Bruins, winning the Stanley Cup in the 2010-11 season and scoring 10 goals in the lockout-shortened 2013 season. A first-round pick of the Sabres in 2002, he was acquired from Buffalo via trade in the 2009-10 season.
After going the whole summer without being signed, Paille spent the weeks leading up to training camp skating with his former teammates at Boston University and Ristuccia Arena.
|09.29.15 at 5:21 pm ET|
The Bruins announced Tuesday that they have assigned Linus Arnesson, Chris Casto, Austin Czarnik and Frank Vatrano to Providence. The four players were absent from Tuesday’s practice, with Claude Julien declining comment on their status earlier in the day.
In addition to making cuts, the Bruins brought Chris Breen, Ben Sexton and Brandon DeFazio back up from Providence. The three were previously cut from camp, but recalling them means the Bruins will have the trio available for Wednesday’s game against the Rangers.
Recalling players after cutting them in camp isn’t too uncommon, as the Bruins cut Ryan Spooner last fall, brought him up before the end of the preseason and had him on their roster when the season began. It’s unlikely that Breen, Sexton or DeFazio are viable options to make the B’s out of camp, however.
|09.29.15 at 11:51 am ET|
WILMINGTON — Zdeno Chara skated by himself prior to Tuesday’s practice, marking the second straight day the B’s captain has taken the ice since suffering an upper-body injury last week.
Chara did not stay out for Boston’s practice. Claude Julien said following the practice that Chara will not play Wednesday night against the Rangers, though the 38-year-old defenseman could soon start practicing. The B’s are not ruling out the possibility of Chara potentially playing in Friday’s preseason finale against the Capitals.
Julien also revealed Jonas Gustavsson will play the entire game Wednesday as the team continues to figure out its potential backup goalie situation. The only goaltenders left on Boston’s roster are Gustavsson (still on a professional tryout), Tuukka Rask and Jeremy Smith.
Also absent from Tuesday’s practice were defenseman Linus Arnesson and forwards Frank Vatrano and Austin Czarnik. It’s possible that the Bruins may have made cuts Tuesday morning.
David Krejci was back with the bulk of his teammates after skating in Monday’s smaller session. He skated with Matt Beleskey and David Pastrnak, while Brett Connolly was back on his line with Ryan Spooner and Jimmy Hayes after sitting for Monday’s preseason game.
The following players took the ice for Tuesday’s practice:
Forwards: Connolly, Ferlin, Randell, Kemppainen, Blidh, Talbot, Hayes, Marchand, Spooner, Beleskey, Rinaldo, Bergeron, Khokhlachev, Eriksson, Kelly, Pastrnak, Krejci, Kelly
Defense: Kevan Miller, Irwin, Trotman, Krug, Colin Miller, Morrow, McQuaid, Cross
Goalies: Rask, Gustavsson, Smith
|09.29.15 at 12:12 am ET|
The long wait finally came to an end for Tuukka Rask Monday night.
The 28-year-old goalie made his 2015 preseason debut after watching the likes of Jonas Gustavsson, Jeremy Smith, Malcolm Subban and Zane McIntyre fill the void over the first four games, all wins.
Monday night wasn’t about the final result, a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. It was about getting Rask’s feet wet for the first time in game action since the regular season finale last April 11 at Tampa Bay. That night, the Bruins were eliminated in the middle of the game. Monday night, in a game with far less significance, Rask stopped 21 of 24 shots in getting his first taste of action.
“Good to get it out of the way,” Rask said. “You kind of forget how tough it is out there. It doesn’t matter how much you workout or skate, it’s always different when it’s a real game and I definitely felt it. It’s good to get that first one out of the belt and to keep moving on that.”
Rask posted a 2.30 goals against last season with a 34-21-13 mark in 70 games. He will, of course, be the starting goalie for the Bruins when they open the season on Oct. 8 against Winnipeg at TD Garden.
“I think at this point I focus on myself and getting my game where I feel like it needs to be – it’s just with the feel and everything,” Rask said. “I felt that timing was sometimes a little off, angles were a little off at times — not natural all the time. Those are the things I need to work on, but I think in the bigger picture too, looking at the breakouts we did a pretty good job today and communication was pretty good too. The first period I had to handle it a couple times, the first one of the game I just made a bad pass, but after that I made a couple good passes. A couple guys talked to me where they wanted the puck to be and I think they did a good job in front of the net, clearing some sticks and some players. I think it was good.”
Rask realizes that improving Boston’s breakout this season begins with him.
|09.29.15 at 12:07 am ET|
Rather, it was the group of six defensemen who saw action in front of Rask that Julien was watching most intently.
“We’re evaluating more the back end than we were Tuukka,” Julien said. “We’ve got some young D’s here and some spots to fill. Spots to win and spots to lose. So we’re looking closely at those guys on the back end. Some of those goals tonight [Rask] didn’t get much help.”
Boston dropped the final decision to Detroit 3-1, allowing at least two markers that didn’t thrill Julien in regards to his team’s play on that back end.
“That first goal a guy walks right into the slot,” said Julien of the game’s first goal scored by Detroit’s Drew Miller, with Boston’s defensemen Linus Arnesson and Kevan Miller near the crease some distance away.
And the second Detroit goal, with Tomas Jurko getting behind Arnesson and Colin Miller to make it 2-0?
“It was a mix-up there between our two D’s,” said Julien. “We laid it in [on the dump-in] and our right D changed hoping that our left D would go to right to be closer to the bench. Somehow they stayed in the same half of the ice and allowed them that breakaway.”
Without the blue-line services of Dennis Seidenberg for several more weeks and Zdeno Chara for an unknown length of time, some of Julien’s young defensemen will need to raise their game when the season begins a week from this Thursday.
“I think guys are getting used to having more pressure on them on the forecheck,” said Zach Trotman, who logged 18:39 of ice time Monday playing primarily alongside Torey Krug. “Getting used to reads. Getting some chemistry with other players and partners. We’ve gotten to play with each other for a couple games now. You’re going to notice that breakouts are a little cleaner, neutral zone is going to be a little cleaner. And then jumping up in the play and stuff and adjusting to the tweaks we’ve made to our system.”
Those tweaks to the Bruins system are designed to help spark an offense that ranked 22nd in the NHL in goals-per-game (2.55) last season. However, timing is everything in making sure the defense doesn’t suffer.