With most of the players performing like they had already checked through customs in Belfast, the Bruins dropped a 4-1 decision to a JV Washington squad missing its top guns. Nicklas Backstrom scored two goals to lead the Washington attack on Tim Thomas, who stopped 20 of 24 shots in his preseason debut. Thomas said he felt good after the game.
“He looked at full strength as far as a guy playing in his first game,” coach Claude Julien said. “It was encouraging. For his first game, I thought he was pretty good. That’s encouraging because he’s only going to get better from here on in. We’ve got to keep working with him and bring him up to the level he’s used to being at.”
Mark Recchi scored the Bruins’ only goal when he tapped home a power-play shot in the third.
“We’re at a stage right now where we’ve really cut down to our team,” Julien said. “I would say, basically, that camp is over. Let’s start working toward putting some lines together and working with them. We’ve got nine or 10 days here until the real games start. We’ve got to use that time to make our team better and put ourselves in synch.”
* Milan Lucic was on the ice for three Washington goals. Lucic led the Bruins with five hits in 18:31 of ice time.
* Not the sharpest night for Tyler Seguin. The 18-year-old centered Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder on the third line, recording zero shots in 13:58 TOI. Seguin was yanked off the power play after the first period. The Bruins might have to give Seguin a look at wing overseas, with Wheeler possibly taking some shifts at center.
* Wheeler said he got the wind knocked out of him when he fell in the second after a clever setup by Seguin. Wheeler continued to play with bite like he has throughout the preseason.
* With that, I hand complete artistic control over to Kevin Dupont, who will assume command in Belfast and Prague. Safe travels to all going across the Atlantic.