With a roster full of expected regulars in the preseason, the Boston Bruins took advantage of a roster full of hopefuls for the Philadelphia Flyers to win their preseason home opener 4-2 at TD Garden Thursday.
The Bruins went 2-for-5 on the powerplay with goals from Brad Marchand and Craig Smith on the man advantage and got even strength goals from Brandon Carlo and Jake DeBrusk. Taylor Hall and Erik Haula also had two assists each for the Bruins and Jeremy Swayman went the distance with 16 save on 18 shots.
Former Boston University star Joel Farabee had both goals for the Flyers.
GOLD STAR: Taylor Hall – For the first time since signing a four-year, $24 million contract extension with the Boston Bruins back on July 23, Hall was back in action Thursday and he shook off any rust he had with two helpers on the night. Skating on the first powerplay unit, Hall helped set Marchand’s powerplay goal at 9:17 of the first period to tie the game at one.
Brad Marchand cannot be left alone in front there. pic.twitter.com/HHD2tfQF3u
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) September 30, 2021
Then with the Bruins up 2-1 late in the second period, Hall fed Brandon Carlo for his first of the preseason to make it 3-1 Bruins 16:41 into the middle frame.
Yeah Brandon Carlo scored, but did you see Taylor Hall just nutmeg a falling David Pastrnak? I mean holy smokes pic.twitter.com/I9nF8tWiQ0
— Petrov McGuire (@McguirePetrov) October 1, 2021
The fact Hall looked so comfortable skating with Patrice Bergeron, Marchand, David Pastrnak and Charlie McAvoy on the top powerplay unit is a great sign for the Bruins.
BLACK EYE: Martin Jones – Besides Boston Bruins defenseman Jakub Zboril and forward Trent Frederic taking some rather lazy penalties, there weren’t really any black eyes for the Bruins Thursday. So, the black eye goes to former Boston Bruins goalie Martin Jones (yes, he was only a Bruin for a few hours), whose career continues to go in a steep decline. Jones allowed three goals on 11 shots before being relieved by Felix Sandstrom in the second period. Jones went 15-13-4 with a 3.28 GAA and .896 save percentage witb the San Jose Sharks last season and just hasn’t been the same since helping the Sharks reach Game 6 of the 2016 Stanley Cup Final.
TURNING POINT: Jake DeBrusk’s goal at 18:31 of the second period proved to be the backbreaker for the Flyers. Just 1:50 earlier, Carlo had made it 3-1 Bruins and with the team’s playing at 4-on-4, DeBrusk – who is making a case to be the comeback kid so far – buried his second goal of the preseason after taking a nice feed from Erik Haula. DeBrusk seems to be on a mission and has been doing a great job in the danger zones thus far. His hustle along the boards and to the net has been very noticable.
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) October 1, 2021
HONORABLE MENTION: Erik Haula – After scoring a goal in his Boston Bruins debut in a 3-2 shootout win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday, Haula was back in the lineup Thursday skating between DeBrusk and Nick Foligno on the third line. Haula didn’t score Thursday but hisnhustle and vision helped set up two Bruins goals. He assisted on Smith’s first preseason goal that gave the Bruins a 2-1 lead at 12:23 of the first period and then as mentioned above, he set up DeBrusk for the turning point moment. Haula also led the Bruins with four shots in the game.
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) October 1, 2021
BY THE NUMBERS: 2 – The number of shootout goals DeBrusk has now in the preseason. The first shootout goal for the Bruins winger was the gamewinner in Washington on Sunday and then on Thursday, DeBrusk lit the lamp again but this time it didn’t count on the scoreboard. The NHL is having shootouts, regardless of the score, after every game. Could DeBrusk be a shootout weapon for the Bruins this season.
QUOTE TO NOTE: “He’s been a good player for us. … A different pace in the middle from what we’re used to” -Cassidy on Haula’s peformance through his first two preseason games with the Bruins.