Considering that Washington had most of its big guns in the lineup — Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Mike Knuble, Tom Poti — the baby-faced Bruins hung in during a 3-2 loss.
“I thought we competed hard,” Claude Julien said. “We had a young team out there. We played against a pretty explosive team. I thought our guys handled it well. I thought from our back end, the puck moved a lot better tonight.”
Brad Marchand continued to make his case to break camp as the 13th forward. Marchand started slowly, but scored a third-period goal to make it a 3-2 game. After taking a drop pass from Milan Lucic, Marchand went high glove on Michal Neuvirth and tucked the puck under the crossbar. Marchand had three shots in 14:33 of ice time.
* Matt Bartkowski continues to push for a roster spot. Bartkowski had two assists, the second of which came when he kept the puck in the offensive zone for Lucic to pick up. Bartkowski had 19:31 of ice time. It would probably be better for Bartkowski’s development to get 20-24 minutes a night in Providence instead of being a healthy scratch or third-pairing defenseman with the big club. But he’ll be back soon if he continues to progress.
* Good night for Blake Wheeler, who switched with Joe Colborne at times. Wheeler won six of 11 faceoffs, landed two shots, and thumped three bodies in 17:37 TOI. Wheeler had a big-boy blast on Boyd Gordon in the second. Nice to see some edge in his game.
* Stick salute to Shawn Thornton for accepting D.J. King’s invitation in the first period. It was King’s first fight for his new club. King started strong, but Thornton probably landed the best shot of the fight.
* No word on when the one or two cuts prior to their Belfast departure will take place — late tonight, tomorrow morning, tomorrow afternoon, or after the game. But the Bruins are firm on taking 26 or 27 players to Northern Ireland.
* Nathan Horton didn’t play but made the trip. He was the only non-game player to travel with the club.