The regular season draws near with two preseason games left, and the Bruins hope to clean some things up before the season-opener against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 12.
Boston fell short to the New Jersey Devils, 1-0, at Prudential Center on Monday night. There were very few takeaways from the game as the Bruins appeared to want to get a look at a potential third or fourth line.
“Well, today, I think, was a hard game to judge by,” head coach Montgomery said, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I thought we gave up too much time and space all over the ice — all 200 feet — offensive zone, neutral zone and our D zone. I don’t think by today’s game you can say that they’re buying into it.”
Despite that, there were some positives to take away from the game. Starting goaltender Keith Kinkaid had a solid outing despite the one goal given up, which could be attributed to more of the Devils taking advantage of a shift change from Boston at the right time. The Bruins only gave up one shot on goal in the last 14 and a half minutes of the game.
Those minutes were without Kinkaid, who left the game due to an apparent injury, but former Bruins goaltender and NESN analyst Andrew Raycroft noted in postgame coverage it could have been a cramp, especially with Kinkaid coming out of the game with a smile. Kinkaid saved 19 of the Devils’ 20 shots and made a case to be the third goaltender behind Linus Ullmark and Jeremy Swayman.
Montgomery also highlighted other players he felt had good outings Monday.
“I thought Dan Renouf had a real good game. I liked (Jakub) Lauko up front,” Montgomery said. “I thought there was a lot of guys that did some things well, and unfortunately, we were a little bit slow compared to them in transition offense and defense.”
Here are more notes from Monday’s Bruins-Devils preseason game:
— The Bruins will be without Matt Grzelcyk and Charlie McAvoy to start the year, which means Boston will need someone to step up in their place. Montgomery explains what he is looking for in his defense, and he highlighted one defenseman who is “head and shoulders above everyone.”
“Well, we’re looking for guys who can execute well on our breakouts, who are going to take away time and space in the D zone and who are also going to add a little bit of offense to us on the rush by supporting the pucks through the middle and being able to make plays on entries when it’s appropriate,” Montgomery said. “Right now, (Hampus) Lindholm’s clearly head and shoulders above everyone, like you would expect, and he’s been great in camp. And we’re gonna need him to log a lot of ice time and be a leader for us back there.”
— Kyle Keyser played well in net on short notice and saved the four shots that went his way.
— Boston was 0-for-4 on the power play after showing signs of improvement in that area in the past two preseason games.
— The Bruins will travel to New York to take on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday. That game will be broadcast on TNT at 7 p.m. ET. Boston returns to NESN to take on the Devils at TD Garden. Puck drop is scheduled at 7 p.m., and you can catch full coverage using NESN 360, along with an hour of pregame.