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Five takeaways from Bruins' preseason win

MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.
September 16. 2018 7:12PM
Boston Bruins forward Jakub Lauko (94) celebrates his goal during the first period against the Washington Capitals at TD Garden. (Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports)



BOSTON — The Boston Bruins opened the domestic portion of their preseason slate with a win on home ice, as the Black and Gold beat the Washington Capitals in a shootout, 2-1, Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.

Rolling out a lineup with only three NHL regulars, the Bruins posted a win thanks to the play of some of their younger skaters, namely 2018 third-round draft pick Jakub Lauko.

After five minutes of 3-on-3 hockey could not determine a winner, Danton Heinen tallied the lone goal of the extra stanza for the win.

The Black and Gold will resume preseason action when they travel to Washington for a rematch against the Capitals on Tuesday. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.

Here are five quick takeaways from Sunday’s victory.

1. Tabbed as a potential steal shortly after the Bruins plucked him up in the third round of the 2018 NHL Draft, Lauko did his best to sustain that narrative following Sunday’s performance.

Starting off the tilt on the fourth line, the speedy Czech forward opened the scoring for Boston at 17:10 in the opening stanza, ripping home a shot from the slot that beat Caps goalie Pheonix Copley clean to make it a 1-0 game.

Lauko’s skill is easy to spot, with the 18-year-old winger even earning reps with David Krejci’s line as Sunday’s game progressed. Lauko also impressed in other areas on the ice, highlighted by a pair of blocks and drawing a tripping penalty against Caps forward Garrett Pilon. Lauko is a longshot to crack a spot on this Bruins’ club this season, but he certainly helped his case with Sunday’s showing.

2. With most of the team off in China, the usual suspects for the Black and Gold were not out on the ice for Sunday’s tilt — except for captain Zdeno Chara, center David Krejci and winger Danton Heinen.

It might be just a preseason warmup, but the 41-year-old Chara was once again a workhorse, logging 23:18 of ice time while paired up with 18-year-old Axel Andersson. Matched up against a listless Caps squad, Krejci had his way with the puck on his stick, nearly setting up a Ryan Fitzgerald goal in the opening period off of a nifty dangle in the slot.

3. With both Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak in China, Bruins netminder Zane McIntyre manned Boston’s net for the entirety of Sunday’s game, finishing with 21 saves. Likely facing competition from fellow netminder Dan Vladar this season in Providence, McIntyre opened his 2018 preseason with a strong showing -- highlighted by a sprawling leg save in the third period that robbed Caps defenseman Christian Djoos on a breakaway bid.

4. While Lauko will gain most of the headlines following Sunday’s game, fellow 2018 draft pick Andersson was also solid in his first NHL preseason tuneup. Skating on the Bruins’ top D pairing with Chara, Andersson notched the lone helper on Lauko’s first-period tally.

Aside from a hiccup here and there when handling the puck, Andersson was poised out on the ice, especially when it came to carrying the puck through the neutral zone.

5. A number of young Bruins impressed on Sunday, but 2015 first rounder Zach Senyshyn struggled to make much of an impact while skating on Boston’s second line.

The 21-year-old forward found himself in the penalty box early in the first period after getting into a scuffle with Caps defenseman Tyler Lewington, while later earning another trip back to the sin bin in the second off of a tripping call. It was a frustrating start to the preseason for Senyshyn, who is looking to make a bigger impact this season in the AHL after notching 26 points over 66 games last year.


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