Boston Bruins fans got to see NHL trade deadline acquisitions Taylor Hall, Curtis Lazar and Mike Reilly in action for the first time Tuesday in a 3-2 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Head coach Bruce Cassidy was asked for his first impressions on the trio, and it certainly seemed like the Bruins bench boss left the contest optimistic by the new additions.
Hall, specifically, played 16:43 on the left side of the David Krejci line with Craig Smith on the right. The ex-Sabre recorded three shots against his old team, including one chance during the overtime period.
“Well, he certainly creates in space,” Cassidy said of Hall during a postgame video conference. “I thought he did a good job off the rush finding the open guy. Overtime, obviously, (he) looked dangerous. Had a nice back check as well, so good speed. The details of the game got to look at it closer structure-wise. I don’t want to over-analyze that in his first night here.”
Lazar, who also was acquired in the Hall trade with Buffalo, definitely provided a boost to the fourth line. He played 12:58 while centering the group with Sean Kuraly on the left and Chris Wagner on the right.
“Lazar in the middle does a good job presenting himself, dishes the puck out of the middle, he did a nice job there,” Cassidy said. “… So I thought he did a nice job offensively too they were cycling pucks, little more of an O-zone possession line than that we’ve seen. So, that was good, encouraging.
“? I thought he added to that line and did a nice job.”
Cassidy noted that while Lazar could play on the wing, he liked where he was pivoting the fourth line.
Defenseman Mike Reilly, whom Boston traded for Sunday night in a deal with the Ottawa Senators, played 22:17 on the second pairing with Steven Kampfer.
“Reilly gets his shoot through, works to get it through, shoots for sticks,” Cassidy said. “Breakout I thought he had good composure, makes good decisions.
“So again, three guys that helped us win a hockey game, that’s their job, we’ll build them in as we go and see how they best fit,” Cassidy said. “But first impressions were good.”
The 22-12-6 Bruins will return to the ice at TD Garden when they face the New York Islanders on Thursday.