Bruins takeaways: Marchand brings depth, Heinen raises inventory in shootout loss to Flyers


Brad Marchand pestered the Flyers all through Friday’s shootout loss at TD Backyard.

Boston Bruins' Brad Marchand (63) checks Philadelphia Flyers' Victor Mete (98) during the first period of a preseason NHL hockey game Friday, Sept. 29, 2023, in Boston.
Brad Marchand dropped Victor Mete with a heavy examine on Friday. (AP Picture/Michael Dwyer)

The Bruins got here up brief in a back-and-forth contest towards the Flyers on Friday, with Boston dropping a 4-3 shootout loss at TD Backyard. David Pastrnak (twice) and Danton Heinen scored for the Bruins, whereas Linus Ullmark made 32 saves within the loss.

Listed below are a couple of takeaways from Boston’s preseason loss towards Philadelphia:

Marchand, Pastrnak as marketed 

With the beginning of the common season lower than two weeks away, a number of key cogs in Boston’s lineup made their preseason debuts on Friday evening, together with Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, and Pavel Zacha.

Whereas a lot of the focus throughout preseason play tends to be fixated on blue-chip prospects and roster battles brewing additional down within the lineup, Boston’s stars delivered towards the Flyers.

Pastrnak was knocked for a turnover within the first interval that paved the way in which for Joel Farabee’s opening tally, however the star winger made up for the miscue with a pair of objectives.

Even with Boston’s top-power play unit due for some turnover following Patrice Bergeron’s retirement, Pastrnak’s shot and creativity with the puck ought to hold the Bruins’ man benefit buzzing alongside.

Marchand, taking to the Backyard ice for the primary time since getting named captain, didn’t land on the scoresheet. However even together with his new title, Marchand was the identical outdated agitator towards the Flyers, with a heavy hit towards Victor Mete waking up Boston amid a sleepy begin.

Marchand later drew a penalty within the ultimate minute of play after tussling with each Joel Farabee and Travis Sanheim in a sequence that regarded like one thing present in a Recreation 7 of the playoff sequence — quite than Recreation 3 of preseason motion. 

McAvoy led all Bruins skaters in ice time (24:34), whereas Pavel Zacha logged 18:57 of reps in his first look as considered one of Boston’s top-six facilities. He gained’t have the ability to replicate Bergeron’s manufacturing on the bumper spot, however Zacha’s standing as a left-shot ahead ought to give Boston’s energy play a special wrinkle this winter. 

After a comparatively quiet exhibiting towards the Sabres on Tuesday, Danton Heinen elevated his inventory on Friday as he tries to safe a contract throughout camp.

Skating subsequent to Marchand and Matt Poitras, Heinen gave Boston a 3-2 lead at 15:00 within the second interval, snapping a puck by way of Cal Petersen’s five-hole off a slick feed from Kevin Shattenkirk.

Heinen almost gave Boston the lead as soon as once more within the closing minutes of the third off a pleasant feed from Georgii Merkulov, however his one-time shot was batted apart by a diving Petersen.

At this stage of camp, it appears to be like like Morgan Geekie and Trent Frederic have the within edge for 2 beginning spots on Boston’s third line. However the different emptiness on the wing in that essential bottom-six spot nonetheless appears to be up for grabs.

Heinen — presently on a PTO deal — figures to be within the combine, whereas Jesper Boqvist earned excessive reward from Jim Montgomery on Tuesday in Buffalo.

Postgame, Heinen stated that he hasn’t felt like he’s performed his finest hockey to date by way of two preseason contests.

“You set stress on your self since you wanna be a part of it so badly,” Heinen stated of constructing the staff. “I’ve put this jersey on earlier than. I understand how particular it’s.”

Whereas Heinen was stable in his second preseason outing, fellow PTO candidate Alex Chiasson struggled to make the identical influence. Chiasson’s most sizable influence could be discovered on the ability play, however he whiffed on two Grade-A appears to be like on the netfront within the opening interval of play.

Lohrei, Poitras each proceed to indicate flashes of potential

Bruins followers nonetheless shouldn’t be on the brink of order their Poitras and Lohrei sweaters over on the Backyard Professional Store — as each promising prospects nonetheless have a steep uphill climb in terms of breaking camp with the NHL roster on Oct. 11.

Nonetheless, each blue-chippers are persevering with to benefit from the featured roles that the Bruins appear dedicated to handing them throughout preseason motion.

After logging greater than 25 minutes of ice time on Tuesday in Buffalo, Lohrei skated on Boston’s prime D pairing subsequent to McAvoy on Friday, logging 20:03 within the loss. Even with some anticipated lapses within the D-zone, Lohrei’s poise with the puck was placed on show all through the evening, particularly alongside the offensive blue line.

Maybe essentially the most encouraging growth for Lohrei was his potential to flee stress and generate clear breakouts in Boston’s personal zone.

“I assumed he made good performs with the puck,” Bruins assistant coach Joe Sacco stated of Lohrei’s efficiency. “Clearly he’s a giant child that strikes fairly nicely — particularly laterally. He strikes nicely side-to-side. He was noticeable at occasions on the O-zone blue line. He did some good issues. And we’re persevering with to work with him on his play away from the puck.”

After posting two factors in his preseason debut towards the Rangers final weekend, Poitras skated with Marchand and Heinen on Friday, ending with 17:04 of ice time. He almost arrange a netfront aim for Merkulov within the second interval with a slick cross-ice feed.

As anticipated, the 19-year-old heart was knocked round by the Flyers as Friday’s recreation carried on. However even with that bodily mismatch towards NHL competitors, Poitras recurrently hovered across the crease and didn’t shirk away from board battles.

“He stands in there. He’s not afraid. He performs with braveness,” Sacco stated of Poitras. “He made some good performs on the market tonight, he had some attractiveness.

“After which, clearly, there’s different occasions the place you may see that in direction of the top of his shift at occasions he runs out of fuel and that’s the distinction at this stage — is with the ability to preserve that that power, that top tempo, particularly on the finish of your shift. Having the ability to handle that and make the suitable selections with the puck. However general, there’s some good issues on the market.”

Among the many Bruins rookies and prospects trying to stay within the image over these ultimate 10+ days of coaching camp, Lohrei, Poitras, and Johnny Beecher have continued to face out essentially the most with the reps handed to them.

Free pucks

Even with one power-play tally on 4 alternatives, Boston made life depressing for Philly’s PK unit on Friday due to some crisp passing and quite a lot of seams opening up across the slot. However as groups proceed to focus most of their consideration on Pastrnak and his potent shot, Boston will seemingly want each Zacha and Marchand to start out placing extra pucks on internet.


Jakub Lauko did what he may to state his case for a beginning spot in Boston’s bottom-six group on Friday — injecting some power into the constructing with a spirited scrap with Louie Belpedio instantly after each skaters exited the sin bin.

Lauko continues to make issues occur every time he hops over the boards, with the winger additionally logging 2:44 of reps on the penalty kill towards Philly. Fellow fourth-line candidate A.J. Greer additionally had a stronger recreation in his second preseason go-around.


Some good and unhealthy from new Bruins blueliner Kevin Shattenkirk. His feed to Heinen on the winger’s second-period tally was spectacular, however he additionally had a couple of sequences the place he was caught flat-footed in Boston’s D-zone.


Fairly the call-back on Ullmark’s new centennial-season masks.


The Bruins will proceed their preseason slate on Monday evening once they tackle the Flyers in Philadelphia. Puck drop is about for 7 p.m.