MONTREAL - The Bruins officially opened their seven-game preseason schedule on Tuesday night at the Bell Centre.
The outcome - a 3-2 loss to the Habs - wasn't the ideal way to start game action.
But preseason offers an opportunity for veterans and young players to make mistakes and work out the kinks. For the spread of players with a chance at making Boston's opening night roster, though, that margin is slim.
Ryan Spooner and Matt Fraser, both players pushing for spots, used the game to help show their summer improvements, while veteran David Krejci utilized it as a tune-up on the way to the regular season.
Spooner opened the scoring just 1:17 into the game, when he found himself with space down the right wing. He drove hard to the net and beat Montreal goalie Dustin Tokarski off his backhand to put Boston up 1-0.
"I had some chances last year like that and I just pulled up, so I tried to take the puck to the net," Spooner said postgame.
Spooner had a lengthy 20-game stay with the Bruins last December and January, but didn't net a single goal. He worked on his shot all summer.
BOSTON - The Bruins' preseason action officially kicks off on Tuesday night in Montreal against the Canadiens, with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. ET at the Bell Centre.
There's no better way to skate the rust off than with a Bruins-Habs matchup, right?
Though it won't resemble the intensity of a regular season game or even close to a playoff game, and the lineups will be mostly comprised of younger players with a sprinkling of veterans, the always electric atmosphere will still be a great way to kick-start the preseason.
"We had the [the scrimmage] a couple of days ago but this is something else. I'm sure it's going to be a sellout and playing Montreal is always special," David Krejci said following a pregame skate at TD Garden, before the team jetted off to Montreal.
"I think it's a great preparation. We know they're going to be loud. It's the first game in a few months for us and for them and for their fans so it's going to be a good atmosphere, a good tempo. Lots of young guys are going to be playing, trying to show they can play with NHL players."
"So I'm looking forward to it and can't wait to get there and play the first shift."
BOSTON - Following the Bruins' two practices at TD Garden on Tuesday, Head Coach Claude Julien addressed the media before traveling to Montreal in advance of the night's preseason game against the Canadiens.
"You'll probably see both of them. I don't know how I'm going to do it yet, but you'll see both of them tonight," said Julien.
Craig Cunningham was a new addition to practice on Tuesday, skating in the second group (comprised of mostly non-traveling players).
"He's come back from mono, so he's been cleared to practice with us," said Julien. "It's his first day back with the big team."
Cunningham has been skating, but Tuesday marked his first time taking part in Boston's main camp. The fourth year pro who has put up three straight 20-goal seasons with Providence has been eyeing a roster spot with the big club all summer.
BostonBruins.com - The Bruins kick off their preseason schedule against opponents on Tuesday night in Montreal, with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. ET at the Bell Centre.
Here is the expected traveling roster (subject to change):
WILMINGTON, MA - Training camp shifted back to Ristuccia Arena on Monday, following the Black & Gold Scrimmage in Providence on Sunday night.
As has been the case throughout camp, there were two groups split into different on-ice sessions.
There were slight variations to the groups, however, with Zdeno Chara joining Patrice Bergeron during the same session. The captain and alternate captain had been split between the two groups up until this point.
With a slate of seven preseason games, beyond the scrimmage, beginning on Tuesday night in Montreal, the practices were cut down slightly in time.
The coaches gave plenty of teaching moments at the drawing board, as Head Coach Claude Julien continues to implement systematical adjustments.
Bergeron's group did rounds of sprints for about five minutes to end its practice, with the alternate captain, Chara and Adam McQuaid all starting a round of stick taps on the ice for the effort.
David Pastrnak did not skate in either session and remains out day-to-day with a tweaked shoulder after he started camp on Krejci's right wing. With much fanfare around Pastrnak heading into camp, a reporter asked Head Coach Claude Julien following Monday's practices if his absence affects his chances to make the team.
Seidenberg was out 48 of those games after suffering his ACL/MCL tear on December 27. McQuaid was sidelined three separate times with groin issues throughout the season while dealing with a long-term ankle injury that needed offseason surgery. January 19 marked his last time wearing the Spoked-B in 2013-14 game action.
The pair of blueliners each missed the Bruins' 12 playoff games on top of that.
While Sunday night's Black & Gold Scrimmage in Providence at the Dunkin Donuts Center didn't resemble a Game 7 in the postseason, it offered an opportunity for both Seidenberg and McQuaid to test out their conditioning at a higher, tougher pace than they've been experiencing so far during training camp.
It had been a while since they were battling, taking contact and being physical in game-like situations.
For Seidenberg, it had been nearly nine months. For McQuaid, it had been just over eight.
"It was good, I saw them skate the last two days - to put them in game action obviously was good with where they were last year," General Manager Peter Chiarelli said following the scrimmage.
PROVIDENCE, RI - Training camp shifted to the Dunkin Donuts Center on Sunday night for the Black & Gold Scrimmage.
The teams were split into two groups of 18 skaters and two goaltenders, wearing the Bruins' home and road jerseys. Zdeno Chara and David Krejci headed up Team Black, while Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly led Team White (full lineups can be found here and below).
With most players out of game shape, it was a good opportunity to get the legs going, work on timing and start to generate chemistry with defensive pairings or new lines.
With roster spots up for grabs, it was no surprise to see the young players with high energy.
Team Chara ended up topping Team Bergeron 6-1, with all seven goals coming from prospects who suited up for Providence last season.
PROVIDENCE, RI - Training camp shifts to Providence tonight for the Black & Gold Scrimmage at the Dunkin Donuts Center. The puck was set to drop at 5:00 p.m. ET.
The Bruins' Twitter account @NHLBruins will post live updates from the scrimmage, and postgame coverage will be available on BostonBruins.com and via the Bruins Mobile App.
The teams for the scrimmage are designated below, with lines and defensive pairings from warmups.
Milan Lucic is being cautious following his offseason wrist surgery and is not suiting up for the game. David Pastrnak (tweaked shoulder), Gregory Campbell (minor mid-core issue) and Linus Arnesson (tweaked groin) are also not playing.
WILMINGTON, MA - The Bruins finished up their second day on the ice Saturday at Ristuccia Arena, as training camp continued.
With back-to-back days of high intensity skating and implementation of Head Coach Claude Julien's tweaks to the systems, camp will now shift to Providence on Sunday for the Black & Gold Scrimmage.
Forty skaters will be suiting up in the scrimmage, while about eight will not be playing and will get in a practice on Sunday instead.
There's another group of players who are dealing with injuries or recoveries, and won't be ready for game action.
Gregory Campbell is still dealing with a "minor mid-core issue" and hasn't skated yet during training camp. Milan Lucic's wrist is feeling good, but he and the Bruins are proceeded with caution to ensure he's healthy and ready for the start of the regular season on October 8.
"I don't think the trainers have given me a time frame [for Campbell]," Julien told media following Saturday's sessions. "Looch, he can practice but he hasn't been cleared to play yet. I'm just waiting for them to give me some feedback."
"There's enough guys in camp right now that we've got enough players for games, and I don't need to worry about that so far."
WILMINGTON, MA - Milan Lucic may not feel 100 percent following offseason surgery on his left wrist, but he's on the right track.
Since training camp began hit the ice on Friday, Lucic hasn't looked too far off from his usual self.
During Saturday's session at Ristuccia Arena, he ripped a shot in behind Tuukka Rask, before continuing the drill and racing on the backcheck. He hunted down Johnny Boychuk and took the body, creating a pile-up with Boychuk and defenseman Steve Eminger.
It was very Lucic.
The power forward may not look limited, but he's still being very cautious with his wrist. He can only practice; he hasn't been cleared yet for games.
"It's been good, it's been better than what I expected, which is obviously a good thing," Lucic told media following Saturday's session. "Just seeing my progression over the last two weeks with where it's gone, it's been good."