A pair of Tyler Seguin goals, one amid a three-goal outburst late in the second period, lifts the Bruins to a 5-1 exhibition win over the UK’s best and brightest at Odyssey Arena.
Seguin also scores on penalty shot late in the third period against the Belfast Giant Select squad. The Bruins, after falling behind, 1-0, in the second period, also get strikes from Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand and Milan Lucic.
You are now safe to ink Seguin into the 23-man varsity roster that will be made official prior to Saturday’s season opener.
A sellout of some 5,500 at Odyssey Arena. Bruins finish with a 42-23 shot advantage.
Note to readers: the arena’s internet service tubed early in the first period, causing great frustration to the Boston traveling media contingents, including representatives from the Globe, Herald, WEEI.com, Comcast Sports New England and NESN.
The Selects break a 0-0 deadlock with 4:24 left in the period on a blistering wrister to the top right corner by Jade Galbraith. Locals love it, Giants play David role, taking down mighty B’s.
But David doesn’t keep the mojo going.
Seguin ties it 18:24 with a power play, getting help from point men Dennis Seidenberg and Matt Hunwick.
Only 21 seconds later, Zdeno Chara smacks home the go-ahead goal, 2-1, an even-strength strike aided by Strongman Shawn Thornton and newcomer Greg Campbell.
And with with 50 seconds to go in the period, Brad Marchand caps off a three-goal spree with the 3-1 lead, all three goals coming in a span of 46 seconds. Shawn Thornton picks up a second helper and Chara is credited with second assist.
For the better part of the first two periods, the Bruins control the play but are unable to pot some prime chances, a number of them from close range.
Neither side able to put the puck in the net.
The Bruins, who finish with an impressive 13-7 shot lead for the 20 minutes, can’t solve Steady Steve Murphy in the Belfast cage.
Tuuka Rask barely tested by the pesky Giants, who clearly have a better feel for the big sheet (15 feet wider than NHL version). Good zip by the UK guys, but not enough finish.
Bartowski continues to impress
He’s not in tonight’s lineup, but rookie Matt Bartkowski, proud son of Pittsburgh, remains in the thick of the hunt for one of Boston’s roster spots on the blue line.
Acquired along with Dennis Seidenberg in the swap with Florida that sent Byron Bitz to the Panthers, Bartkowski played the last two seasons for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He hadn’t planned on bolting campus after two years, but the swap to Boston encouraged him to turn pro, although not necessarily with the thought that he’d make the Black-and-Gold’s varsity roster right out of Division 1 NCAA hockey.
”But I definitely came in to camp setting my sights high,” said the 22-year-old blueliner, who was chosen 190th overall in the ’08 draft.
Coach Claude Julien, who opted to take a look here at Adam McQuaid in the lineup and also leave Johnny Boychuk sidelined, said Friday that he has been very impressed with Bartkowski, noting that he has been very quick to grasp defensive coverage.
Now, will Bartowski still be on the active roster when the club opens the NHL season next weekend with back-to-back games against the Coyotes in Prague? Julien won’t give up that answer. However, he made a point of saying that if Bartkowski makes the team, it won’t be as a seventh defenseman. If the kid sticks, he’s in the top six pack. Otherwise, Julien and GM Peter Chiarelli want him getting 20 minutes a more or night with the Providence WannaBs.
Mark Recchi–Patrice Bergeron–Jordan Caron
Milan Lucic–David Krejci–Nathan Horton
Blake Wheeler-Tyler Seguin-Michael Ryder
Brad Marchand-Greg Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Mark Stuart-Matt Hunwick
Andrew Ference-Adam McQuaid
Starter: Tuukka Rask
Backup: Tim Thomas
Scratches: Danny Paille and Brian McGrattan at foward; Matt Bartkowski and Johnny Boychuk on defeense; Nolan Schaefer (G).