The Bruins were playing without many of their stars during Sunday’s preseason opener against the Washington Capitals, but it was one familiar face that helped Boston to a 3-2 shootout victory.
Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk scored a pair of goals in the victory including the game-winner. And for DeBrusk, who has proven his talent while dealing with some inconsistencies in the past, it was a great first step entering his fifth season with the team.
“Well, it’s important, I think, for him,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said on a postgame video conference. “Some guys (that) probably matters a little more, some guys are fine-tuning their game in different ways. But I think for him when he produces he always feels better about himself. He was around the puck, and the way he scored going to the net, those are good, positive signs for him.”
DeBrusk explained how he thought it took him longer to get up to speed than he would have thought, but was happy with his performance.
“Personally, I think it took me a little more time than I thought to kind of get used to playing at that pace, but at the same time, yeah, obviously positives,” DeBrusk said on a postgame video conference. “Anytime the puck goes in the net it is nice. It is just preseason, but nice to help the team win.”
Here are some other notes from Bruins-Capitals:
— DeBrusk’s new linemate, Erik Haula, was equally impressive in his Bruins debut. The 30-year-old left wing finished with one goal and was a plus-two.
Cassidy noted how DeBrusk and Haula were able to mesh well together, and is hopeful they will find chemistry both individually and as a third-line tandem.
“He was very engaged in the game,” Cassidy said of Haula. “Obviously the shootout, it’s nice when those guys can finish like that especially with their speed. They’ll get some breakaways this year both him and (DeBrusk) so I just think all around it was a good night for him, good way to get going in his first game for Boston.
“Even though it’s preseason I think he wanted to assert himself and I think it’s great if guys can push one another and he was good on the (penalty kill) as well,” Cassidy added. “Basically played in every facet for us so good first game for him.”
— Cassidy was also happy with the performance of defenseman John Moore, who finds himself in a different place than some other veterans.
“He’s a guy in a battle for playing time so these games are important for him,” Cassidy said. “Most veterans like that it’s more about sharpening your game and getting ready for opening night but he’s in a little bit different of a situation.
“He needs to play well in exhibition to earn playing time and he certainly was aware of that tonight and did a good job for us.”
— Cassidy didn’t want to speculate on the injury of Steven Fogarty, who exited in the third period after taking an elbow to the head from Washington’s Dylan McIlrath. The Bruins bench boss confirmed it was a head injury, but said he would wait until Fogarty was evaluated in Boston rather than rush to a diagnosis.
— Jeremy Swayman started in net and played 30 minutes. He allowed one goal on 19 shots.
— Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Charlie Coyle, Craig Smith and Taylor Hall were among those not in the lineup for Boston’s preseason opener.