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Talking Points: Czech Line Shines; McLaughlin Belongs



Boston Bruins

Pavel Zacha, David Krejci and David Pastrnak combined for three goals and defenseman Mike Reilly scored the game-winner 12:10 into the third period as the Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 5-4 and improved to 3-2 in the 2022-23 preseason.

Boston Bruins goalie Jeremy Swayman improved to 2-0 in the preseason with a 28-save showing.

GOLD STAR: As expected, the Czech trio of Pavel Zacha-David Krejci-David Pastrnak were three Wild and Crazy Guys (sorry to you 30 and under folks for that reference), and had instant chemistry against the Rangers on Wednesday. Earlier this week, when he and the team realized that winger Taylor Hall was week-to-week with an upper-body injury, Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery admitted that he had immediately thought of putting Zacha, Krejci, and Pastrnak together. That’s exactly what he did, and in Pastrnak’s first game of the preseason, he caught right up to Krejci and Zacha, who had already seen preseason action.

Pastrnak, who still hasn’t signed a contract extension, finished with a goal and two assists, while Zacha did the same, and Krejci had a goal and an assist. In 14:39 of 5-on-5 play: the Czech Line trio had a 16-5 attempt edge, 10-3 edge in shots, and 4-0 edge in goals.

BLACK EYE: Jakub Zboril finally came back down to earth in this one. In his first two preseason games, the 2015 (13th overall), first round pick for the Boston Bruins had looked a lot like a first round pick and had three assists in ten games before getting injured last season. Zboril just seemed a step behind all night on Wednesday. He was burnt on two of the Rangers’ two goals and finished a minus 3 for the evening. The read here is that with Charlie McAvoy and Matt Grzelcyk out to start the season, Zboril still has a spot in the Top 6, maybe even Top 4 defensive pairings and that was just a black eye that will fade by the season opener next Wednesday against the Washington Capitals on Oct. 12 in Washington DC.

TURNING POINT: Not to state the obvious but in a back-and-forth game like this, the turning point is the obvious, and that would be the game-winning goal by Reilly. Great poise and patience by the Boston Bruins defenseman.

HONORABLE MENTION: Marc McLaughlin just continues to impress and leave Montgomery and his staff no choice but to put the former Boston College captain on the opening night roster for the Boston Bruins. McLaughlin made a great assist on DeBrusk’s goal 2:27 into regulation and now has two goals and two assists in his three preseason games and had two in the Prospects Challenge during rookie camp.


BY THE NUMBERS: Here’s how the Boston Bruins lined up on Wednesday at Madison Square Garden:


Pavel Zacha – David Krejci – David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk – Jack Studnicka – Marc McLaughlin

Jakub Lauko – Johnny Beecher – Fabian Lysell

Chris Wagner – Joona Koppanen – Vinni Lettieri


Jakub Zboril – Anton Stralman

Derek Forbort – Brandon Carlo

Mike Reilly – Daniel Renouf


Jeremy Swayman

Kyle Keyser


“With Krech, I’ve been looking up to him since I was a kid. So it’s always a little bit special…I definitely love playing with him.” – Pastrnak on Krejci postgame.


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