Boston, MA – The Boston Bruins sent what is almost their final roster out to face-off against the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden on Thursday night. The team didn’t disappoint as they downed the Flyers 4-2 in their preseason home opener. For numerous players it was their first game action of the preseason.
Veterans Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy laced up their skates along with newcomer Derek Forbort for their first twirl together as a unit.
Bruins defenseman Jakob Zboril was whistled for Cross-Checking at 6:29. Philadelphia jumped out to the 1-0 lead at 7:18 on a Joel Farabee power-play goal. Farabee took advantage of a breakdown in the Bruins penalty kill coverage to beat Jeremy Swayman blocker-side on a pass from James Van Riemsdyk. Swayman would play all 60 minutes in securing the win for the Bruins, he made 16 saves on 18 shots.
The Bruins power play struck just over two minutes later. Marchand sniped a Taylor Hall pass past former Bruins goalie Martin Jones (8 saves on 11 shots in 30:42) at 9:17. Hall’s diving effort on a loose puck set up Marchand all alone in the slot.
Craig Smith gave the Bruins the lead when he beat Jones on a two-on-one bid with Nick Foligno. Smith banged in Foligno’s pass past a sprawling Jones. Cameron Hughes also assisted on the go-ahead goal at 12:23.
Brandon Carlo added to the lead at 16:41 when he rocketed a slap shot past Jones from the right face-off dot. Pastrnak carried into the Flyers’ zone and tripped after deking on defenseman Adam Clendening. Pastrnak chipped the puck to Hall, who put it through Pastrnak’s legs, and carried towards the net. Hall dumped a pass back out to Pastrnak but he flubbed it right to Carlo. The 6′-5” Carlo, wearing the “A” on his jersey tonight, settled the puck and slapped it top shelf over Jones’ glove shoulder.
Jake DeBrusk made it 4-1 Bruins when he banged in his own rebound in front of second string Flyers netminder Felix Sandstrom (12 saves in 29:14 of action). Erik Haula was credited with the assist on DeBrusk’s second of the preseason.
Farabee pulled a goal back for the Flyers at 9:40 of the third period when he blasted a one-timer past Swayman from the right point. The goal was his second power-play goal of the game.
The two teams had a shootout after the game. DeBrusk won it on the Bruins last attempt.
“This game you’re looking for some details, in terms of angles, stopping and starting where you’re supposed to, reloading on routes, stick position, all those little things that make you hard to play against during the middle of the year,” said Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy.
Overall Cassidy was pleased by how the Bruins played. He thought the opening 10 minutes of the second period were “bad hockey for us.”
The Bruins continue training camp on Friday at Warrior Ice Arena with a 10:00 am and an 11:30 am split session.