Here are some Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 5-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres Prospects at the First Niagara Center on Saturday afternoon:
GOLD STAR: Veteran 26-year-old Swedish winger Jesper Froden should be one of the stars in a tournament full of youngster and hopefuls, and he was most definitely that with a pair of goals in Boston’s 5-2 win over the Sabres prospects. Froden is coming off his first 20-goal season in the Swedish Elite League and was impressive during the world championships, so this is probably his best chance at carving out an NHL gig given his age, experience and skill level. The 5-foot-9, 165-pounder finished with two goals, one a gritty round score in front as he was hanging around the danger area and then the second score was a one-timer blast on the power play that proved to ultimately be an important insurance marker for the Bruins prospects. All in all, it was a nice little showcase for what Froden hopes to bring to the table and the entire weekend is a nice boost for him going into main NHL training camp where he most certainly would like to compete for a job.
Jesper Froden scored two goals to pace the #NHLBruins over the Sabres in the Prospects Challenge opener on Saturday afternoon.
🎥 Check out all the highlights from the 5-2 win in Buffalo: pic.twitter.com/K2m6eQpDNM
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 19, 2021
BLACK EYE: There wasn’t much to dislike in the game, to be honest. Boston Bruins goalie Kyle Keyser (32 saves) played great in goal, D-men like Brady Lyle and Jack Ahcan looked very strong along the blue line, and Jakub Lauko was a dominant, speedy force combined with a two-goal effort from Jesper Froden. It continues to look like first round pick Fabian Lysell is probably going to need some time in the WHL to develop his game, as there were both good and not-so-great moments for him during the game. It was a nice little confidence booster for the 18-year-old, however, that his work in the first game earned him the empty net goal at the end with an assist from his linemate Jakub Lauko.
TURNING POINT: It was a 2-2 game headed into the third period and that’s really where the Boston Bruins turned it on with promising youngster Brett Harrison following up with the game-winner out of a broken 2-on-1 odd-man rush play. Froden add the one-timer rocket on the power play for the insurance goal and then Fabian Lysell added the empty netter for the added cushioning at the end of the game. The Bruins outscored the Sabres by a 3-0 margin in the final 20 minutes and really dominated long stretches of the game that was pretty much borne out in the 5-2 final score.
HONORABLE MENTION: Puck-moving Bruins defenseman Jack Ahcan was one of the few players in the game with any NHL experience, and it showed in the dominant way he controlled the puck in all zones of play. It was Ahcan that assisted on a pair of goals, set up all kinds of scoring plays for the Bruins in the offensive zone and really kept the pressure on the Sabres for long portions of the afternoon game. Clearly Ahcan needed last season in the AHL for seasoning to his game just as Torey Krug did when he first signed with the Bruins out of college, but it’s not going to surprise anybody is Ahcan really pushes for more NHL duty this season based on the way he’s looked early.
BY THE NUMBERS: 32 – the number of saves for Kyle Keyser, who several times stoned Sabres players on breakaways and pretty clearly wants to serve notice that he doesn’t want to be the forgotten man in the Bruins goaltending department.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “You see how smart he is. We were just talking about it. Everything he does has a plan. He’s just a different, special player. I was asked the other day, do I talk to him differently about how to defend. I don’t. He’s strong, he’s inside. He’s a hockey player. Sometimes I get caught kind of watching him a lot out there.” –Bruins Prospects head coach Ryan Mougenel.