Boston Bruins

The Jim Montgomery era has started with a (preseason) loss for the Bruins, as the Bruins fell to the Flyers by a 2-1 final Saturday night in Philadelphia.

Down early in the second period on a Noah Cates power-play strike that beat Keith Kinkaid, the Bruins finally found the back of the net at the 52:50 mark of the evening on a Jakub Lauko shot through Troy Grosenick.

But the Flyers needed just two and a half minutes to make that Lauko goal a mere box score footnote, as the Flyers’ Jackson Cates got a piece of an Egor Zemula shot to beat Kyle Keyser for the game-winning strike.

  • Not a ton to dissect with the first game of the fall, of course, but finishing was the big issue for the Bruins in this contest. They were consistently able to get into prime areas against the Philly tandem of Felix Sandstrom and Troy Grosenick, but it was only Lauko who was able to light the lamp.

    Vinni Lettieri led the way for B’s forwards with five shots on goal, while Lauko finished with four, and Nick Foligno and Jack Studnicka finished behind ’em with three shots each.

    Power-play finishing was a noticeable issue for the B’s, too, as they went 0-for-6 on the man advantage despite hammering the Philly net for 15 shots while up a man.

  • But if you’re looking for good news, you have to like Lauko beginning his year with a goal.

    It was a straight-up miserable year down on the farm for Lauko in 2021-22. In action for 54 games with the P-Bruins last year, Lauko found the back of the net just three times, and his minus-28 rating was the worst on Providnce. (It was the worst plus-minus on the roster by a country mile, too, as the second-worst plus-minus on the team was owned by Jack Studnicka and his minus-11.)

    Prior to tonight’s contest, Lauko had been skating on a line with David Krejci and David Pastrnak, giving the Bruins a nice, all-Czech line for the opening skates of training camp.

  • On the backend, Jakub Zboril was the Black and Gold’s noticeable standout, and finished with two shots and two blocked shots in a team-leading 25:05 of time on ice.

    Zboril’s pairing partner, Connor Carrick, also brought the nasty with a hard-but-clean hit on the Flyers’ Antoine Roussel when Roussel was staring down at the puck in his feet in the first period.

  • The physical continued in the second period when A.J. Greer dropped the gloves with Philadelphia’s Hayden Hodgson after Hodgson delivered a hard hit to Zboril along the boards.

    Chris Wagner led the way for the Bruins in the hitting department, with eight thumps. Foligno, meanwhile, finished with six hits.

    The Bruins will continue their preseason slate Tuesday night at home against the Rangers. It will be one of three preseason dates at TD Garden prior to the start of the regular season.