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Talking Points: Boston Bruins Fall Short In Preseason Finale Vs. NJ

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BOSTON – Here are the Talking Points from the Boston Bruins 5-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils in the final preseason game of training camp at TD Garden.

GOLD STAR: Boston Bruins prospect Jakub Lauko has been solid throughout training camp and has always had a bottom-6/fourth line bent to his game, so it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the 23-year-oid is still vying for an NHL roster spot. Lauko certainly didn’t hurt himself on Saturday night as he scored a goal that helped spark a third period comeback, was one of the few plus players on the evening for the Boston Bruins and finished with four shots on net and four hits in an active 13 plus minutes of ice time. While it’s true that Lauko’s salary cap hit may have something to do with him being considered for the NHL roster right now, he’s also been a strong player for the B’s in camp while pushing for a roster spot to the very end. Lauko’s performance in the final preseason dress rehearsal was an impressive one.

BLACK EYE: Tough night for Jakub Zboril, who has had difficulty elevating his game after a strong start to the preseason. The young Boston Bruins defenseman finished a minus-3 for the game, didn’t have a shot on net and didn’t really do much to influence the game in a positive fashion in his 18 plus minutes of ice time. The most notable thing he did was get outplayed by Tomas Tatar in a one-on-one battle with the goalie pulled in the closing seconds of the third period that effectively ended Boston’s comeback attempt with the empty net goal for the New Jersey Devils. The Boston Bruins are going to be patient with Zboril, but his Saturday performance may be pushing the B’s one step closer to singing Anton Stralman to an NHL contract.

TURNING POINT: For the Boston Bruins it was a dreadful start to the third period where a couple of mistakes buried them behind a three-goal deficit. The Bruins were trailing 2-1 after the first 40 minutes and were absolutely in the game, but then things started to fall apart in the third as Derek Forbort and Connor Clifton left the net-front area wide open for Jack Hughes on one breakdown, and then Mike Reilly’s stick snapped with his puck on it in the defensive zone in a play that led directly to another Devils goal. To Boston’s credit they battled back to make it a one goal game in the third period, but just couldn’t get over the hump against New Jersey.

HONORABLE MENTION: With NHL jobs on the line for the Boston Bruins, Nick Foligno authored a strong performance as the left wing for the fourth line during Saturday night’s game against the New Jersey Devils. Foligno finished with an assist on the Jakub Lauko goal and totaled a pair of shots on net and six registered hits while logging 14:55 of ice time. Best of all, Foligno played a rugged, heavy game where he was throwing his weight around at the net, finishing off checks and making some smart, subtle plays with the puck to manage Boston’s trips up and down the ice when he was out there with Nosek and Lauko.

BY THE NUMBERS: 75 – the percentage of faceoffs that the Boston Bruins won as Patrice Bergeron, Jack Studnicka and David Krejci all won the vast majority of their draws against the Devils.

QUOTE TO NOTE: “By far his best game. I thought he handled the puck really clean and make a lot of good plays, support plays. He won a lot of battles below the tops of the circles. When you look at his career, that’s where his money has been made.” –Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery on Nick Foligno, who teamed with Tomas Nosek and Jakub Lauko to have a strong performance as the B’s fourth line.

 

Joe Haggerty has covered the Boston Bruins and the NHL for 18 years with NBC Sports Boston, WEEI.com, the Boston Metro and the Woburn Daily Times, and currently serves as lead Bruins reporter and columnist for Boston Hockey Now. Haggs always strives to capture the spirt of the thing any way that he can.

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Clacker47

It seems like every other game is a “black eye” for Zboril! The Bruins want to be patient with him? He’s 25 years old and was drafted 7 years ago in the horrific 2015 draft by Sweeney…how much patience is enough??? C’mon man!

Rick W Murray

Forget about Zboril, Ullmark stunk! Last night the bruins looked an ahl club against a seasoned nhl squad.

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