MONTREAL – Jarome Iginla did not take long to adjust to his new team or his new line.
In Monday’s preseason opener against Montreal at the Bell Centre, Iginla scored two goals to lead the Bruins to a 6-3 win. Iginla had excellent chemistry with Milan Lucic and David Krejci.
“It felt good,” Iginla said of his play with his linemates. “We’re all trying to keep it simple. As far as trying to get some down-low plays and some front plays, you try to win a lot of battles, get it back to the point, go to the net, and get some deflections. I got some great looks as far as one-timers and tried to shoot the puck, and not think. For the first game, it felt good all the way around as a group and as a line.”
Iginla, Nathan Horton’s replacement on the right wing, scored the first goal of the preseason. In the first period, Lucic whipped a cross-ice pass to Iginla at the left circle. Before Carey Price could slide over, Iginla winged a one-timer through the goalie at 8:29 of the first.
Iginla beat relief goalie Robert Mayer at 9:33 of the third. Mayer stopped Torey Krug’s initial shot. But the rebound skittered out to Iginla in the high slot. Iginla settled the puck and snapped a shot past Mayer to break a 3-3 tie.
Iginla landed a game-high six shots on goal. Iginla missed with five other attempts and had one shot blocked. Iginla has a better slapper than Horton. Iginla might also have a quicker release.
“Where we lost Horty as far as being a big shooter and a big body on that line, I thought Iggy did a great job of that,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “He shot the puck well. He was solid along the walls and made some good plays. It seemed like a seamless transition.”
Unless the three have zero chemistry in the preseason, they will break camp as the No. 1 line.