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RECAP: Bruins defeat Capitals in shootout on nifty goal by Danton Heinen

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With the second shootout win in as many preseason games, the more prospect-heavy squad played well against Washington’s farm.

NHL: Preseason-Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins
Hughes brought his game face, at least.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals at Boston Bruins: Preseason Game 1A

Per the team’s Twitter account, here were the line combinations for the game:

Period 1

Zach Senyshyn dropped the gloves with Tyler Lewington for no apparent reason. It would be a stretch to call it a fight.

David Krejci looked like an NHLer in a pickup game from the drop of the puck. He and Zdeno Chara both had plenty of ice time (almost 20 minutes for David, and the usual 24ish for Big Z) and were able to exert their influence on the game without much disruption.

Young defensemen Jeremy Lauzon and Connor Clifton tried using their body on Washington’s forwards, to little effect. Zane McIntyre looked comfortable, seeing just six shots through in the frame.

Late in the period, Jakub Lauko scored on a second attempt after his first was blocked to open the scoring.

Period 2

Relatively quiet play for the first section of the frame. The youth on both sides of the ice settled in a bit, and Washington definitely received a ‘hit harder’ mission from their coach.

By escalating the hitting game, Washington exposed some timid behavior from the Bruins prospects. While Axel Andersson looked more comfortable on his feet, gaining some confidence after assisting on the Lauko goal, the same couldn’t be said for Lauzon or Fayne. It also would have been nice to see a higher energy level from all forward lines.

With just over two and a half minutes to go, former Bruin Brett Connolly found himself alone in the slot and converted to tie the game.

Period 3

Not a lot to report. Boston didn’t back down from the Caps’ attempts to out-muscle, and as a result the game slid back into a neutral-zone battle before a bit of a flurry in the final few minutes of regulation.

OT

Two penalties put the B’s at a serious disadvantage for over half the OT frame. Fortunately, the prospect defensemen stood tall and did not have much of a problem with the Caps’ power play.

Assistant Coach Joe Sacco, acting as bench boss while Bruce Cassidy travels with the China squad, gave the reigns to the kids, not playing Chara in the overtime period. Zane also stood tall to stifle some golden chances.

Shootout

Danton Heinen did this, and nobody else did anything. BRUINS WIN!

A silky deke for the veteran second-year player.

Game Notes

Heinen and Krejci showed some chemistry. In a game full of NHL hopefuls, they (along with Chara) obviously stood out as experienced players. Heinen will have to show it for a full season to avoid a sophomore slump, but it’s a start.

Having the freedom to roam while paired with Zdeno Chara, Andersson looked jittery in the first period but settled into his skates for the second, third, and overtime. Sacco and his staff used the rookies in every situation so that they could showcase their skills and, overall, it was a promising look at their future.

Honorable mentions: Jakub Lauko, scoring and generally playing with high energy throughout the game; Ryan Fitzgerald for riding shotgun on the Krejci-Heinen Experience and putting in a monster forecheck shift; Emil Johansson for looking steady in overtime.

Could’ve been better: Lauzon, occasionally paired with Johansson later in the game, gripped the stick too tightly in a tied third period. It would’ve been nice to see him use his legs/feet to get himself out of trouble more often, instead of trying to pass backwards through his feet several times a minute. Defenseman Mark Fayne and forward Mark McNeill blended into the fabric of the game. The B’s tried to run the breakout through Daniel Winnik at one point and it was just awful.

Check out the condensed game, courtesy of the team!