Detroit — Some observations from the Bruins’ preseason game at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena.
Second period: The Soderberg-Kelly-Smith line continues to do good work tonight. Soderberg nabbed his first goal of the preseason on a Kelly shot that missed the net and bounced straight from the end boards back to him. Soderberg put the puck past Jonas Gustavsson for the first goal of the game, making it 1-0. The Swede has been playing center so far in camp and the preseason, so this is the first chance we’ve had to see him on the wing.
The two games with the Red Wings certainly have been chippy. It’ll be interesting to see if that’s just a function of guys trying to win jobs and prove their toughness in the preseason or whether it’ll bloom into a rivalry now that the Wings are in the Bruins’ division. The latest scuffle involved Brad Marchand and Brendan Smith.
Chad Johnson continues to stand tall, with his best save so far on a hard-charging Gustav Nyquist. The Red Wings have been unsuccessful on each of their 11 shots on net. The Bruins have 13.
First period: Tonight marks the first game for Patrice Bergeron this season, and his line is showing the lack of time together in games. They haven’t had the flow that they should develop as times goes on. Bergeron took a penalty for elbowing Brendan Smith during a Bruins’ power play, and has one shot on net.
In fact, the best line so far tonight has been the group that could end up as the third line. Carl Soderberg, Chris Kelly, and Reilly Smith are skating together for the first time this preseason, and they’ve generated more chances than any other line, with four combined shots (two for Smith, one for Kelly, one for Soderberg). The Bruins as a team have six.
Another good sign for the Bruins has been the play of goalie Chad Johnson. Johnson was very shaky against the Canadiens on Monday, but has mostly played well through the first period. He has turned away all six of the Red Wings shots. Johnson is battling with Niklas Svedberg for the backup goaltender spot behind Tuukka Rask.
Mike Moore got into it with Todd Bertuzzi, with the Bruins defenseman eventually being flipped by the Red Wing. Score that one for Bertuzzi. It’s the third fight in two games against the Red Wings — Torey Krug and Matt Fraser had the others.