BOSTON — Their first foray into the NHL’s new 3-on-3 overtime format worked out in the best way possible for the Bruins.
David Krejci found David Pastrnak just 12 seconds into the extra session to give the Bruins a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals in the first preseason game of the year at TD Garden.
Pastrnak scored both goals for Boston in the win, which improved the B’s to 2-0 this preseason.
The Capitals dominated possession in the early going, accounting for six of the game’s first seven shots on goal.
Bruins goalie Malcolm Subban didn’t look entirely comfortable in these opening minutes, and he had some early issues with rebound control, resulting in a few second and third chances for Washington.
The 21-year-old improved as the period went on, however, making a few nice stops to help kill the night’s first penalty and keeping the Capitals off the board for the rest of the frame. A Michael Latta slap shot did get by Subban with four minutes to play, but it rang iron.
The Bruins’ best scoring chances all came during the second half of the frame. Frank Vatrano hit the post just as Boston’s lone power play of the period expired, and Chris Casto and Chris Kelly both had netfront bids denied by Capitals goalie Justin Peters.
Boston’s top line of Matt Beleskey, Krejci and Pastrnak created some opportunities in the offensive zone, but the trio lacked cohesiveness — not unexpected in the first week of training camp. Several passes between the first-liners failed to reach their targets.
The home team owned a 12-11 shot advantage after one.
Though Boston’s preseason opener Sunday featured a whole host of post-whistle extracurriculars, the Bruins’ first bona fide fight didn’t come until the second period Tuesday.
Bruins winger Justin Hickman and Capitals defenseman Tyler Lewington droppend the gloves just over four minutes into the frame, and Hickman proceeded to drop Lewington to the delight of the Garden crowd.
Zane McIntyre took over for Subban in goal just before the period’s midway point. The latter saved all 17 shots he faced, including an acrobatic one on a Nate Schmidt one-timer that helped the B’s finish off another penalty kill.
McIntyre, who earlier this year finished a four-year career at the University of North Dakota, stopped all five shots he faced in the frame.
After more than 50 minutes of scoreless hockey, the B’s and Caps combined to score twice in one 79-second span.
The first goal came off the stick of Pastrnak, who used some excellent stickhandling to sneak a backhander past Philipp Grubauer during a 4-on-4 situations. Krejci and defenseman Adam McQuaid were credited with the assists.
Boston’s advantage did not last long, however, as Schmidt put Washington on the board less than two minutes later by sliding a shot under McIntyre’s right pad.
It was the first goal allowed by a Bruins netminder this season, and one McIntyre, who is one of four players fighting for Boston’s backup goalie spot, surely would like to have back.
Kelly had a golden opportunity to put the Bruins back ahead with less than eight minutes to play, but his point-blank one-timer, off a feed from Hickman, was turned aside by a sprawling Grubauer. Zach Senyshyn had a chance of his own on a Bruins power play, but Caps D-man Ryan Stanton tangled the rookie up enough to foil a breakaway bid.
In an extra session that would have been played regardless of the score at the end of regulation, Pastrnak ended things quickly.
McIntyre finished with 15 saves in the game.
The Bruins continue their preseason slate Thursday when they welcome the New York Rangers to Causeway Street.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images