Bruins survive sloppy game vs. Caps

Bruins survive sloppy game vs. Caps
September 18, 2013, 12:45 am
Share This Post

BALTIMORE – It wasn’t the shining beacon of precision hockey for the Bruins 24 hours later in moving from the packed Bell Centre to the dilapidated Baltimore Arena, but the B’s got their preseason work in during a 3-2 shootout win.

There were plenty of blah things happening on the ice, and a few good developments sprinkled in for the Black and Gold skaters to hang their toque on. Brad Marchand and Loui Eriksson both looked somewhat lost without their man in the middle, Patrice Bergeron, who remained behind in Boston while taking the slow path to recovery from his playoff injuries.

Alex Ovechkin spent less time trying to do damage on the scoreboard, and instead inflicted some “Welcome to the NHL” hits on young players like Jared Knight and Carter Camper. Camper, Warsofsky and Alex Khokhlachev all showed off superior shootout moves after struggling to really distinguish themselves during regulation play against the Capitals.

"Yeah it was a tough night . . . pucks were bouncing everywhere, both teams didn’t seem to get any momentum going there," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien said following the game. "So it wasn’t the prettiest, it wasn’t as entertaining as you would probably like it to be, but at the end of the night it went into overtime and turned into a shootout and we found a way to win."

Aside from Chris Kelly, who let loose with a power play rocket in the third period to tie things up prior to the extra session, there weren’t many veteran Bruins players that stood out to the naked eye. Tuukka Rask was perfectly fine in his 30 plus minutes after getting the starting nod, and Johnny Boychuk, Dougie Hamilton and Dennis Seidenberg got their first games under the respective belts without any fanfare.

Much of that came down to the poor conditions of the arena in Baltimore where the game was being played: the ice was shoddy, the boards were giving way and the panes of glass and stanchions became hazards to the players on the ice simply looking to get their work in and protect themselves.

Young defenseman Chris Casto nearly hurt himself while tripping over the pane of board glass when it fell on the ice, and Boychuk had a dangerous sequence when he caught a rut while stepping into a big slap shot from the point. Luckily everybody walked away healthy and shaking their heads about the aging former home to the AHL’s Baltimore Skipjacks.

“I thought it was a good first game. For everybody in here it had been a while since we had played,” said Kelly. “I thought the first period was pretty scrambly to start because everybody was excited to be out there, but things got better as went along.”

It might not have been the fourth power play extravaganza that made Monday night’s win so impressive, but the Bruins got their work in, they left Baltimore in one piece and the coaching staff now has one piece of material to start making their player evaluations. It could have been a marvelously played preseason game in a pristine venue, but it goes into the exhibition record books all the same for the Black and Gold.