BOSTON -- The Bruins will feature a lineup packed with many regulars for the Monday night preseason showdown against the Washington Capitals, and it should be one of two appearances for goalie Tuukka Rask in the preseason. Jordan Caron, Ryan Spooner and Nick Johnson will all be playing on a line together vs. Washington for their fourth preseason game each, and it’s pretty clear the Bruins coaching staff wants to get a look at all of them as they battle for an NHL roster spot.
Caron hasn’t had a great preseason, but he dialed up the physicality and battle level in last weekend’s win over the Red Wings. Spooner has a pair of assists and has been one of the real bright spots in camp as he has consistently shown his offensive arsenal during each of his appearances. Johnson has three goals in the preseason, and has displayed an experienced NHL hand with enough grit and offense to be a viable option for the third line.
“I’m not worried about our record in preseason. I’m worried about the evaluation part. That’s why you need to see some of those guys that are fighting for jobs, and give them an opportunity,” said Claude Julien. “We’ve got some guys we know will be here, and you want to fine tune those guys.
“Right now it’s about getting a closer look at some of these guys and giving them a chance. We need to get a good read on them, and then they can also say they got a good opportunity.”
Meanwhile the trio of Carl Söderberg, Chris Kelly and Reilly Smith will play their second game together after the trio produced two goals against the Red Wings in Detroit last weekend. For the Capitals it sounds like Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom won’t be making the trip, but Mikhail Grabovski and Brooks Laich will each be making their preseason debuts in Boston.
Here are the line combos and D-pairings based on Monday morning skate: