In what was an expected clunker after a day of travel hell, the Boston Bruins fell to the Buffalo Sabres 4-1 in their second game of the 2023-24 preseason.
Despite the loss, the Bruins learned a lot about their defensemen in camp, specifically highly touted 21-year-old rookie Mason Lohrei.
CLUTCH: Expectations are high in Buffalo for former Northeastern and Sabres rookie goalie Devon Levi this season. This puck scribe highly suggests betting a future bet on the 21-year-old netminder to win the 2024 Calder Trophy. On Tuesday night, Levi showed why.
The goalie many expect to become what the Buffalo Sabres have been missing since Ryan Miller was traded to the St. Louis Blues at the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline was perfect for the two periods he played. Levi stopped all 19 shots he faced and seemed calm, poised, and zoned in.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) September 27, 2023
Honorable Mention (Note: We will do this for the preseason if a Bruin wasn’t the top choice so you can know who stood out in a loss as players try to secure a roster spot.)
In his first NHL preseason game, Boston Bruins rookie defenseman Mason Lohrei picked up an assist on the Bruins’ lone goal and was a monster minutes eater at 29:01. He totaled 30 shifts with 3:30 of them on the powerplay and 2:14 on the penalty kill. Those who watched Lohrei patrol the blue line for Ohio State may want to go to Betway Ohio Promo and throw a little wager down on Lohrei as a longshot for the Calder Trophy.
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 27, 2023
The 21-year-old rearguard out of Ohio State looked poised and calm throughout all those shifts and threaded the needle on this Oskar Steen goal at 17:59 of the final frame.
A nice shot from Mason Lohrei leads to an Oskar Steen goal: pic.twitter.com/68SPZn2VfH
— Evan Marinofsky (@EvanMarinofsky) September 27, 2023
BANGER: Maybe the Boston Bruins scouting department is onto something, making sure the team signed 24-year-old New Jersey Devils 2017 second-round (36th overall) draft pick Jesper Boqvist this past offseason?
Boqvist was everywhere on Tuesday, finishing with two play-developing hits and five shots on net. Boqvist is known for his speed, but the knock has been whether he can use it to his and his team’s advantage; on Tuesday, he did.
DOGHOUSE: The Boston Bruins were flat off the opening faceoffs of the first and second periods. Buffalo Sabres winger Jeff Skinner scored a powerplay goal 3:22 into regulation, and Sabres defenseman Riley Stillman scored 42 ticks into the second period. That left the Bruins a step behind on almost every play for most of the first two periods.
UNSUNG HERO: Oskar Steen had the game’s only goal for the Bruins and was full of energy and drive every time he stepped on the ice. Steen finished the game with six shots and two hits on 22 shifts and 16:24 TOI.
KEY STAT: Lohrei’s 29:01 on ice and Levi’s 19 saves.
IN THEIR WORDS: “I thought Boqvist did a lot of really good things offensively and defensively. You can tell he’s an intelligent, responsible player.” – Boston Bruins head coach Jim Montgomery on the play of Jesper Boqvist.
Milan Lucic-Marc McLaughlin-Alex Chiasson
Danton Heinen-Georgii Merkulov-Oskar Steen
Trevor Kuntar-Johnny Beecher-Jakub Lauko
Jesper Boqvist-Jayson Megna-Luke Toporowski
Mason Lohrei-Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk-Ryan Mast
Frederic Brunet-Ian Mitchell
Buffalo Sabres Lineup:
Jeff Skinner – Tage Thompson – Zach Benson
Jiri Kulich – Casey Mittelstadt- Olivier Nadeau
Brandon Biro – Tyson Kozak – Isak Rosen
Brett Murray – Mason Jobst – Filip Cederqvist
Rasmus Dahlin – Mattias Samuelsson
Mats Lindgren – Kale Clague
Riley Stillman – Joseph Cecconi