Final, Bruins 6-3: Malcolm Subban completes his scoreless outing, and the Bruins depart Montreal with a victory.
The entire first unit was stellar for the B’s. The top line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla accounted for three of the team’s six goals, and Torey Krug (playing in the first defensive pairing alongside Adam McQuaid) provided three assists.
Starting goaltender Chad Johnson looked a bit shaky, failing to control the puck and allowing three goals on Montreal’s first eight shots. Subban finished strong in his first taste of NHL action, though, stopping all 12 shots he faced in just under 31 minutes of ice time.
The other half of the Bruins will begin their season Tuesday night, when the Group A players travel to Baltimore for a neutral-site matchup with the Washington Capitals.
Thanks for joining me, everyone. Good night.
Third period, 15:52, Bruins 6-3: The power play woes of seasons past are nowhere to be found tonight.
The Bruins added their third and fourth man-advantage goals here in the fourth, with David Krejci’s and Zach Trotman’s scores coming within 1:22 of one another.
Krejci’s tally came on an excellent cross-ice feed from Milan Lucic, and Trotman’s on a rocket from the point off a pass from Matt Bartkowski.
Third period, 10:59, Bruins 4-3: Travis Moen, who scored Montreal’s first goal back in the first period, bumps Carl Soderberg late in front of the Montreal bench, and he’ll go to the box for interference.
Third period, 9:32, Bruins 4-3: Jarome Iginla continues his impressive spoked-B debut by lighting the lamp for a second time tonight to put the Bruins back ahead.
Some lackadaisical defense by Montreal allowed Iginla to settle in right in front of Robert Mayer, and he beat the netminder with a wrist shot to Mayer’s blocker side.
It was Torey Krug who sent the initial shot toward the net, but his wrister deflected off Francis Bouillon’s leg and settled right on the blade of Iginla’s stick.
Third period, 6:47, 3-3: The frenetic pace of the first two two periods has slowed a bit, but fans were treated to their first fight of the young season.
Adam McQuaid and Stefan Fournier squared off near the Bruins blue line. It wasn’t much of a bout, as the two grappled clumsily for a few seconds before McQuaid tackled the 21-year-old winger to the ground.
Third period, 0:41, 3-3: Malcolm Subban is still getting used to playing under NHL rules.
The goalie is whistled for delay of game after he handles the puck outside of the trapezoid, a rule that does not exist in juniors.
The Canadiens will have two minutes on the power play.
Third period, 0:01, 3-3: Montreal wins the opening faceoff, and the third period is underway.
Second intermission, 3-3: Matt Fraser lets loose a rocket off a faceoff with 11 seconds remaining, but Mayer turns it away, and the Bruins and Canadiens head into the final period all tied up.
Montreal woke up in the second, getting goals from P.K. Subban and Max Pacioretty, but the Bruins still hold a commanding lead in shots (28-13).
That has a lot to do with the defense Boston’s young blueliners have been playing in front of rookie Malcolm Subban. The top pairing of Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid has looked especially strong.
We’ll be right back with the final 20 minutes of hockey.
Second period, 17:42, 3-3: The Bruins hold firm against the Montreal power play and immediately sprint out to a 4-on-1 breakaway.
New Canadiens goalie Robert Mayer turned away Kevan Miller’s scoring bid, but Ryan White was whistled for interference, giving the Bruins a power-play opportunity of their own.
Second period, 15:26, 3-3: The Canadiens have turned up the intensity with the rookie in net.
After spending much of the first period on their heels, the Habs have gone on the offensive here in the second.
Malcolm Subban has faced several scoring chances in his first six minutes of NHL action, but the Bruins have played sturdy defense in front of him. He’s needed to make just two saves thus far.
Subban will now be tasked with defending the Montreal power play, though, as Zach Trotman is whistled for tripping.
Second period, 9:09, 3-3: The Bruins’ advantage lasted just over two minutes.
Canadiens first-liner Max Pacioretty stuck a feed from David Desharnais past Chad Johnson to knot the score yet again.
That marks the end of the night for Johnson, as Malcolm Subban enters the game to make his Boston Bruins debut.
Second period, 6:53, Bruins 3-2: Raise your hand if you expected the top scorer thus far to be Nick Johnson.
The veteran winger beat Carey Price for the second time tonight to put the Bruins back on top midway through the second.
Johnson gained possession in the neutral zone and split a pair of Montreal defensemen as he raced toward the net. His first shot was turned aside by Price, but Johnson was able to corral the rebound with his skate and shove the rebound into the net.
Second period, 1:15, 2-2: Committing a pair of penalties in the first minute of a period never yields good results.
Torey Krug followed up Lucic’s cross-checking penalty with one of his own 46 seconds later, giving David Desharnais a shove in front of B’s goalie Chad Johnson.
It didn’t take Montreal long to capitalize, as P.K. Subban beat Johnson 20 seconds later to tie the score at 2-2.
Second period, 0:09, Bruins 2-1: The second period begins with some jawing between Milan Lucic and Louis Leblanc, and it results in Lucic heading to the box less than 10 seconds in.
The two were trading elbows before the puck even dropped, and Lucic delivered a cross-check to Leblanc’s back shortly after.
That was followed by a brief scrum, but no punches were thrown, and the teams were separated before any true fights could develop.
Ah, it’s great to have hockey back.
First intermission, Bruins 2-1: The Canadiens spent two of the final three minutes on the power play, but it was the Bruins who managed another pair of quality scoring chances.
Daniel Paille found himself on a shorthanded breakaway after pickpocketing P.K. Subban at the blue line, but his shot was turned away by Price.
With both teams back at full strength a minute later, Ryan Spooner tried to sneak a wraparound inside the left post, but he, too, was foiled by the Montreal netminder.
The Bruins offense was clearly dominant throughout the first, outshooting the home team 17-5 and providing consistent pressure in the Montreal zone. The reimagined first line of Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla has looked as advertised, and defenseman Torey Krug continues to show the quickness and willingness to attack the zone that made him a folk hero in the playoffs.
One flaw that can be pointed out is goaltending, as Chad Johnson has been fighting the puck a bit and allowing too many easy rebounds. The Canadiens turned their one grade-A scoring chance into a goal, with Johnson failing to cover the puck then getting caught out of position, opening the net for Travis Moen.
It must be taken into account that Johnson was signed strictly for depth purposes, though, and none of the Bruins’ four new goaltenders are expected to challenge Tuukka Rask for the starting spot.
We’ll be back with the second period in just a few minutes.
First period, 17:14, Bruins 2-1: Milan Lucic is called for hooking on Habs newcomer Danny Briere, and Montreal will look to pull even on the power play with under three minutes to play in the period.
First period, 14:20, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins got a softie right there.
With the B’s on the power play after a contested sequence that sent three players in all to the penalty box, Nick Johnson beat Carey Price glove side with a casual wrist shot from the point. Matt Bartkowski and Ryan Spooner were given credit for the helpers.
First period, 12:07, 1-1: After looking very sluggish offensively in the early going, Montreal is on the board.
Chad Johnson was unable to swallow up a Louis Leblanc slapper from the left boards (the Habs’ first shot of the night), providing a juicy rebound for Francis Bouillon, who fed it in front to a wide-open Travis Moen for the score.
The puck deflected off Moen’s skate at the top of the crease, but the referees ruled that the winger did not make a distinct kicking motion, and the play was not reviewed.
First period, 8:30, Bruins 1-0: Welcome to Boston, Jarome Iginla.
The winger capitalizes on the Bruins’ abbreviated power play, beating Carey Price from the left circle for the first goal of the game and his first tally in a B’s uniform. Lucic and Krug were credited with the assists.
First period, 6:57, 0-0: The Montreal power play was cut short, as Charles Hudon is whistled for interference.
The Bruins will have about 50 seconds of man advantage when Thornton exits the box.
First period, 5:47, 0-0: Early in the first period, this game has been all Bruins.
The Lucic-Krejci-Iginla line has looked very strong thus far, with Iginla having a shot tipped just wide by Carey Price on the game’s first rush.
Newcomer Matt Fraser also had a good bid foiled by Price, and the Bruins hold an early 6-0 lead in shots.
They’ll be tasked with killing the game’s first penalty, though, as Shawn Thornton heads to the box for interference.
7:10 p.m.: We are underway from Montreal.
Milan Lucic, David Krejci and Jarome Iginla start up front for the B’s, with Torey Krug and Adam McQuaid on the blue line and Chad Johnson in goal.
6:50 p.m.: It looks like Chad Johnson (not to be confused with, you know, Chad Johnson) will get the start in net for the B’s. He and Malcolm Subban will split time between the pipes tonight.
Adam McQuaid will be the elder statesman on the blue line tonight, and he’ll be joined by Torey Krug, Matt Bartkowski and a quartet of rookies.
Here’s what the defensive pairings looked like in warm-ups just a few minutes ago:
Defense pairings, per warm-ups: Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid, Matt Bartkowski-Kevan Miller, Tommy Cross-Zach Trotman ^CS—
Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 16, 2013
6:24 p.m.: The following players will be suiting up for Montreal tonight:
Forwards: Travis Moen, Gabriel Dumont, Michael Blunden, Daniel Brière, David Desharnais, Ryan White, Christian Thomas, Max Pacioretty, Louis Leblanc, Nick Tarnasky, Charles Hudon, Stefan Fournier
Defensemen: Douglas Murray, Jarred Tinordi, Josh Gorges, Francis Bouillon, P.K. Subban, Darren Dietz
Goalies: Carey Price, Robert Mayer
Also, click here for a handy guide to the Bruins’ uniform numbers for the preseason. It looks a little overwhelming, but remember that only about half of these guys will be in uniform tonight.
5:30 p.m.: I mentioned earlier that tonight will be the first glimpse Bruins fans get of the new Lucic-Krejci-Iginla line. That top trio will be the focal point against the Canadiens, but it’s just one of four brand-new lines the Bruins will trot out tonight.
With the team’s projected second liners either playing tomorrow in Baltimore (Brad Marchand and Loui Eriksson) or not yet ready for game action (Patrice Bergeron, though Claude Julien said the Selke runner-up is “looking good” and should return before the end of the preseason), Swedish import Carl Soderberg will center the second line between a pair of 23-year-old wingers — Matt Fraser and Craig Cunningham.
Neither has suited up in an official game for the B’s, but Fraser, who came over with Eriksson in the Tyler Seguin trade, appeared in 12 games with Dallas last season and is considered a top contender to snag the vacant spot on the Bruins’ third line. Cunningham has spent the last two seasons in Providence, ranking third on the team in points last year with 46.
The P-Bruins’ defending points leader, Ryan Spooner, will center the third line tonight between 2011 third-round pick Anthony Camara and journeyman Nick Johnson. At 27, Johnson has made NHL stops in Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Phoenix, totaling 14 goals and 23 assists in 104 career games.
The fourth line will be a reincarnation of last season’s “merlot line,” with rookie — and Harvard alum — Alex Fallstrom filling in for the injured Gregory Campbell at center. Like Bergeron, Campbell is making great progress in his return from a broken leg, Julien said, and holding him out of game action is now just a precaution.
“He’s very close and could probably play is what I’ve been told,” Julien said Monday, according to bostonbruins.com. “We’re just being cautious, we’re going to hold him off there for a little bit more.”
Here’s a cheat sheet of the expected lines:
The defensive pairings will become more clear when the team takes the ice at 6:30. Stay tuned.
4:30 p.m. ET: It may not count toward the regular-season standings, but hockey is hockey.
After the most abbreviated offseason in recent memory, the Bruins open the 2013-14 preseason Monday night against the hated Canadiens at Montreal’s Bell Centre. Roughly half of the B’s roster (known as “Group B”) will suit up in the opener, with the remainder filling the lineup for Tuesday’s game against the Capitals.
The bulk of Boston skaters making the trip north are newcomers and up-and-comers; only eight of the 22 logged ice time for the Bruins during last year’s playoffs. The most high-profile of those new faces is Jarome Iginla, who will make his debut on the first line alongside Milan Lucic and David Krejci, filling the void created by Nathan Horton’s departure.
Monday will also mark the Bruins debut for goalie Malcolm Subban, the team’s 2012 first-round pick and brother of Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, who is expected to be in the lineup for Montreal.
Here is the Bruins’ full active roster for Monday night:
Forwards: Anthony Camara, Craig Cunningham, Alex Fallstrom, Rob Flick, Matt Fraser, Jarome Iginla, Nick Johnson, David Krejci, Milan Lucic, Daniel Paille, Carl Soderberg, Ryan Spooner, Shawn Thornton
Defensemen: Matt Bartkowski, Tommy Cross, Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Zach Trotman, Ben Youds
Goaltenders: Chad Johnson, Malcolm Subban
Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, with the game airing on NHL Network. Keep it tuned right here for pregame updates throughout the afternoon.