WILMINGTON - It may have taken longer than anticipated, but David Pastrnak will get his opportunity.
Pastrnak is expected to play in Friday night's preseason game against the Islanders in Bridgeport, Conn., after being cleared by team doctors.
The forward tweaked his shoulder during just the second on-ice day of training camp, and had to sit on the sidelines as other young prospects received their chances to showcase themselves to the Bruins' brass.
"He's got the green light," Head Coach Claude Julien said, prior to Pastrnak and the Bruins' traveling squad making the three-hour bus ride to Bridgeport.
Pastrnak has been back on the ice skating for a week and a half, and working with Strength and Conditioning Coach John Whitesides. He's ready to test his abilities against players at the next level.
General Manager Peter Chiarelli announced on Wednesday that forwards Ryan Spooner, Justin Florek and Alex Khokhlachev have been released from Boston's training camp, along with goalie Jeremy Smith. The three forwards will join Providence's training camp right away, while Smith is set to join, assuming he clears waivers.
With roster battles ongoing, Chiarelli, Head Coach Claude Julien and the rest of the Bruins' brass still have more decisions to make before the season opens on October 8.David Pastrnak, who is progressing well from the shoulder injury he sustained on the second day of camp, remains with the team. He has starting taking contact in practices, and the goal is to hopefully get the winger into a preseason game so he can have an opportunity to see where he fits in at the NHL level and with the Bruins.
BOSTON - The Bruins fell to the New York Islanders 5-3 in preseason action at TD Garden on Tuesday night.
Patrice Bergeron, a step ahead of the rest this preseason, put the Bruins on the board first. Boston then allowed three straight goals, before a Matt Bartkowski shorthanded tally and a Brad Marchand score right out of the penalty box tied it up at 3-3.
The Isles pulled ahead late in the third to seal the win. Mistakes were made. Breakdowns happened. Goals were let in.
But right now, wins and losses are not what's at stake. Jobs are on the line. It's not so much about the score, as it is about players continuing to prove themselves.
Head Coach Claude Julien arrived to his postgame press conference later than usual, and he had reason.
There was no news or cuts to announce, but the discussions had just been strenuous.
"We just met as a group there and discussed all of the players as we often do, evaluating. As we get closer, obviously those meetings often get a little bit more sophisticated than the first ones," Julien said to the gathered reporters who had awaited his arrival.
Win or lose on Tuesday, the Bruins still ended the night with more than the 23-player maximum they can open the season with on October 8.
Just two preseason games now remain on Friday and Saturday. Players could be released by then, or the current group could still be in place.
BOSTON - The Bruins have just three more preseason games on tap, beginning with Tuesday night's tilt against the New York Islanders at TD Garden.
By the time the season opens on October 8, their opening night roster will have been submitted.
With a week left in the preseason, they're getting closer to that point, but questions still remain.
There are still 18 forwards, nine defensemen and four goalies at training camp, and that number will need to be cut down to a 23-man roster.
"It keeps your mind going because you have to come to the rink and it's not just one of those practice days - it's a 'your battling for a job' day," said Johnny Boychuk. "Nobody's in the clear."
Tuesday night provides yet another opportunity for players in the mix to prove that they belong, and deserve a spot with Boston.
Veterans like Boychuk and Chris Kelly have embraced that fight for jobs as pushing them to be better as well.
"Every year, you're battling for a job. Some people might think that they have the job and that's their right, but you have to come to camp and you have to prove yourself every year and be ready to battle," said Boychuk. "Because if you do that, you're going to be ready for the start of the season."
BOSTON - The Bruins host the New York Islanders in preseason action on Tuesday night at TD Garden, with puck drop set for 7:00 p.m. ET (NESN, 98.5 The Sports Hub).
The expected roster hit the ice for a pregame skate, while those not playing practiced in a separate session afterwards.
BOSTON - At a time when most teams are significantly cutting down their training camp rosters, the Bruins received two new additions to practice on Monday morning at TD Garden: Torey Krug and Reilly Smith.
The pair of Bruins were signed to one-year deals and reported to camp, where their teammates have been on the ice for the past 10 days.
They don't have much time to ease in, with the season opener coming up on October 8.
Three preseason games remain on the Bruins' schedule, but Krug and Smith won't be suiting up right away in Tuesday night's game against the New York Islanders at the Garden. That leaves two games on Friday, in Bridgeport, Conn. against the Islanders, and on Saturday at home against the Red Wings.
They not only need to get their legs into game shape; they'll need to adjust to the tweaks Head Coach Claude Julien and his staff made to the systems - most notably, a quicker neutral zone transition that should fit right into Krug's train of thought.
Monday's practice was one of the toughest since the first few days of training camp conditioning. The Bruins had a scrimmage and then four games in five days last week, with three of those matchups on the road. While not every player suited up in every game, the travel takes its toll.
After being narrowed down to just one group on Sunday with more cuts, Monday provided an opportunity for the coaches to really put the players through their paces. It was perfect timing for Krug and Smith to get in a good sweat, and re-adjust to practicing with NHLers - other from themselves.
The pair then hit the ice with their teammates at TD Garden for their first practice of training camp. They looked pretty happy to be out there.
"It's nice to have them back, I think everybody agrees on that, and now it's a matter of getting them in game shape," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told media following practice.
"They've been skating, they showed up and actually look in real good shape, but playing and battling are two different things, so they've got a little less time than others to have to get up to speed with everybody."
Krug and Smith were training and skating together in Connecticut, while the Bruins spent 10 days on the ice at training camp and suited up in four preseason games.
"It was tough at first. I was a little nervous," Krug admitted, of being back on the ice for practice. "Which I was surprised about, but it's just about being back in the season and the flow of things, and being on the ice with those guys, so I settled down later on and it felt good at the end."
"It was fun. I think that was probably the biggest thing I was looking forward to do, is getting back on the ice and skating with all of these guys," smiled Smith. "It's a pretty fast pace and you expect that, there's a lot of competition out here, so that should force me to get better."
BOSTON - David Pastrnak joined Bruins' practice on Sunday at TD Garden for the first time since tweaking his shoulder on the second day of training camp.
The right winger was off the ice for four days following the injury before he started skating again last Wednesday.
"He skated with us, but he's not cleared yet for contract or anything like that so we've got to wait for him to be cleared," Bruins Head Coach Claude Julien told reporters following Sunday's practice.
It was a step forward, though, for the forward.
"Yeah, absolutely," Julien agreed. "He skated today, was shooting pucks and all that stuff, so he's heading in the right direction, and guys know not to have any heavy contact with him."
Ideally, the Bruins would like to see him in preseason game action.
"I think we'd like to, no doubt - if it's possible, we'd like to see him play," said Julien.
With four of the Bruins' preseason games already in the books and just three games remaining, there's not much time left to get a look at Pastrnak against higher competition.
BOSTON - The Bruins were back in Boston on Sunday for practice at TD Garden, following back-to-back preseason games in Washington, D.C. and Detroit.
For the first time during training camp, they practiced as one group. They were separated into lines in their colored practice jerseys as opposed to the black and white jerseys that we've seen throughout camp.
David Pastrnak was out skating with the group for the first time since tweaking his shoulder on the second day of camp. He's been skating since last Wednesday, but apart from the group.
Below is the rundown of the practice lines and attendance:White Jerseys: Milan Lucic - David Krejci - Loui Eriksson
Gold: Brad Marchan - Patrice Bergeron - Simon Gagne
Grey: Chris Kelly - Carl Soderberg - Matt Fraser
Green: Daniel Paille - Craig Cunningham - Jordan Caron
Merlot: Ville Leino - Ryan Spooner - David Pastrnak
Red: Justin Florek - Alexander Khokhlachev- Bobby Robins
BostonBruins.com - The Bruins have back-to-back preseason road games on tap this weekend against the Capitals and the Red Wings.
They first travel to Washington, D.C. on Friday to face the Capitals at the Verizon Center at 7:00 p.m. ET and then to Detroit for Saturday's matchup at Joe Louis Arena.