Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Rangers leading the Bruins by a 1-0 score after the first 20 minutes of action at TD Garden.
1) Rick Nash is nasty. How nasty? So nasty that his pass from one knee while carrying defenders to the Boston net to set up Carl Hagelins goal took place at the exact time the Columbus Blue Jackets fired GM Scott Howson. The timing was eerie, but the Rangers power forward has impressed a couple of times this season with his ability to carry defenders on his back while playing strong on the puck. He did that again before finding Hagelin for the score, and showed the full package of his skills in the process. Hes going to be tough to stop when hes motivated to make a play.
2) Tyler Seguin looks involved tonight, but theres been a little bit good and a little bit bad in the first 20 minutes. He fired off a one-timer from the left face-off circle on a give-and-go play with Brad Marchand that Henrik Lundqvist was forced to make a good save on, but he also took a hooking penalty in the offensive zone with the Bruins on the PP. He was trying to make a play on the puck, but thats a mistake the Bruins cant make on an already shaky man advantage.
3) Tough shift for Andrew Ference leading to Rangers goal. The Bruins defenseman couldnt clear the puck on a couple of chances during the shift and then got bull-rushed by Rick Nash on his way to the net before feeding to Carl Hagelin for the goal.
4) Four registered hits in 5:21 of ice time for Rangers rookie J.T. Miller tonight. Thats bringing the intensity just like the three hits apiece for Johnny Boychuk and Shawn Thornton in the first period. Best hit had to be Adam McQuaid lining up Darroll Powe behind the net as the force of the impact snapped Powes stick in half. Then Powe went across the ice on his next shift to blast Chris Bourque and get a little payback.
5) Eleven saves for Henrik Lundqvist in the first period including a good glove hand stop on David Krejci from the slot in the first minute of the game, and the sponge job on Tyler Seguins one-timer from the left circle. This is the best King Henrik has looked in any of the three games against the Bruins this season, and it seems pretty clear now he just wasnt ready to start the season.
BRIGHTON, Mass. -- Brandon Carlo enjoyed about as good a game as one could possibly hope for in his preseason debut earlier this week.
The 19-year-old was smooth and poised with the puck on his stick, and picked up an assist when Danton Heinen redirected his point blast to the back of the net. He was also a little dirty, mean and nasty in his own end throwing bodies around in front of the net, and at one point taking a penalty call when he was a little overzealous throwing an opponent down in the crease.
So the 6-foot-5 prospect gave a pretty good glimpse into what he can offer at his best, but the youngster also knows it will keep getting more and more difficult as the games get closer to the end of the preseason.
“In that first game I felt like I was doing a lot of really good things. I was moving the puck well, playing well and doing all of the things that I wanted to do. So I’m really excited to build on that opportunity. I feel like I started myself off well, but it’s about building throughout the camp to reach your main goal at the end,” said Carlo, who may be in line for top pair duties again on Friday night after skating in that role in his first game. “Throughout camp I got three games last year, and I noticed that with each game the action got harder and faster. So I’m ready for that. I feel like it’s going to be a lot of fun out there. I’m ready for the speed, and I’m ready for the physicality. I’m ready for everything.”
Carlo will again team with veteran puck-mover John-Michael Liles on Friday night in a road exhibition game against the Detroit Red Wings, and both he and the Bruins will be looking for him to build on that first outing’s promise. If the youngster can keep it up then the Bruins will have a really difficult choice on their hands with seven D-men already signed to NHL contracts ahead of the young prospect types, so Carlo would have to displace somebody.
But that’s another problem for another day, and will require young Carlo to keep impressing on people , and being extremely hard to play against, when the Bruins take the ice against the Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night.
BRIGHTON, Mass. – The Bruins had a pretty humbling experience hosting the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night when they were outhustled, outworked and vastly outscored in a lopsided, 5-1 loss at TD Garden.
So, they’re clearly looking for a much crisper, cleaner and competitive result at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night for the first road exhibition game in a rematch with the Wings. Adam McQuaid had a rough night in his first preseason game as the most experienced guy on the D-men group iced that night, so he’s looking for a better performance personally and team-wide against Detroit this time around.
“It goes without saying that our last game was pretty bad from top to bottom,” said McQuaid. “There are a lot of areas to improve on. Guys were working hard at times, but the battle, and getting in on guys and battling, you have to make sure you’re on top of them when you defend quick players like that. Yesterday was a good up-tempo [practice] and guys were battling with each other, and hopefully that carries over into [the game].”
Helping matters will be a much more experienced group as the solid pairing of John-Michael Liles and Brandon Carlo will be added to the mix and Joe Morrow will be making the trip as well. Up front, Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey will be playing in their second consecutive games after generating some decent offense against Detroit. They will have 19-year-old speedy Zach Senyshyn added to their mix.
“The last game we had a bit of a hard time with our breakouts, so we worked on that a little bit,” said Spooner. “I don’t think we were very happy with how we played. The compete level, especially when he got down 4-0, I don’t think it was high enough. So we talked about, and we expect a better effort for sure.”
Young prospects Danton Heinen and Peter Cehlarik will also be in the mix with Riley Nash and Dominic Moore bringing experience down the middle of the ice. Perhaps that combined with the growing intensity in each succeeding preseason game will pull a better result out of a group facing the first cuts of training camp following the two games this weekend.