Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins preseason game preview

DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 18: Torey Krug
DETROIT, MI - JANUARY 18: Torey Krug /

The Boston Bruins were victorious to start their preseason.  Game 2 of the preseason is tonight against another divisional opponent.

Tonight at 7:00 pm, the TD Garden will host it’s first NHL hockey since the Boston Bruins were ousted in overtime of Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in April. For their second preseason game, the Bruins will host fellow Original Six team and division rival, the Detroit Red Wings.

The Red Wings, coming off their first missed playoffs in over two decades, didn’t necessarily re-tool themselves coming into the season.  It’s my prediction that they’ll still find themselves in the basement of the division come next April.

But, this is the preseason, when you trot out your young players to get them some experience of the speed of the NHL game.  So regardless of how the team will look during the regular season, tonight’s game should be fun to watch.

This game is on a quick turnaround for the Bs, considering they played their first preseason game last night against the Montreal Canadiens in Quebec City.  The Bruins came out on top, powered by 3 unanswered goals after trailing 2-0.  Fellow C&C Contributor Brendan Bettez provided great insight into the individual and team performances from last night, so check out his game review for who’s making a name for themselves already.

Today’s schedule

Boston Bruins
Boston Bruins /

Just like yesterday, the team has been broken into a Game Roster and Non-Game Roster.  The Game Roster will have a morning skate at 10 am, and the Non-Game players will skate at 11:15 am.  Then, game time is 7:00 pm at the TD Garden in Boston.

Game Roster

The team you’ll see in tonight’s game is as follows:

Forwards:  David Backes, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Ryan Fitzgerald, Danton Heinen, Justin Hickman, Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson, David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, David Pastrnak, Teddy Purcell, Jordan Szwarz, Frank Vatrano

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Defensemen:  Brandon Carlo, Taylor Doherty, Torey Krug, Charlie McAvoyAdam McQuaid, Rob O’Gara, Jakub Zboril

Goaltenders: Anton Khudobin, Zane McIntyre

According to Bruins insider Joe Haggerty, the line combinations for tonight’s game will be:

Vatrano-Forsbacka Karlsson-Backes



Non-Game Roster

The following is a list of the players who are not playing tonight, some of whom played last night and some of whom are still waiting for their preseason debut:

Forwards:  Noel Acciari, Kenny Agostino, Matt Beleskey, Patrice Bergeron, Anton Blidh, Anders Bjork, Colby Cave, Jesse Gabrielle, Colton Hargrove, Joona Koppanen, Brad Marchand, Riley Nash, Chris Porter, Tim Schaller, Zach Senyshyn, Ryan Spooner, Jack Studnicka

Related Story: Boston Bruins: The players who stuck out in preseason opener

Defensemen:  Chris Breen, Zdeno Chara, Connor Clifton, Tommy Cross, Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon, Kevan Miller, Paul Postma

Goaltenders:  Kyle Keyser, Tuukka Rask, Malcolm Subban

What to watch for

I said it before, and I’ll say it again:  Pastrnak is back, Jack!  David Pastrnak will be suiting up for the Bruins tonight, fresh off signing his 6 year, $40 million deal to stay in Boston.  He’ll be playing tonight with fellow Czech forward, David Krejci.

Pastrnak spent a lot of last season playing with Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand (both of whom are sitting out tonight), and they were one of the best lines is hockey.  Apparently, no one was happier than Brad Marchand when he heard that Pastrnak had re-signed:

However, while Marchand and Pastrnak had career years and Bergeron was his same-old self (*cough*, Selke winner, *cough*), the Bruins other three lines lacked consistency when it came to putting up points on the score sheet.

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It is believed that in the interest of getting scoring from other lines,Boston Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy will “distribute the wealth” so-to-speak, and may play Pastrnak alongside his countryman this upcoming season.  It will be interesting to see if the pair can develop some early season chemistry, and give the Bruins two scoring lines for other teams to worry about.

I’ve said from the start that I think Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson is ready for the NHL and to play in Boston.  Tonight he’ll be centering veteran David Backes and another NHL roster guy in Frank Vatrano, who has impressed people thus far.

If JFK is going to make a claim for a spot with the big club, proving himself when given the opportunity to play second line minutes and play pivot for those two guys is key.  Expect him to play hard and make plays in the offensive and defensive zone, like his playing-style model, Patrice Bergeron.

Next: Boston Bruins rivalry roundup: Scoping out the Atlantic Division for 2017-2018

Here’s hoping those Bruins fans attending the game at the Garden tonight get a show tonight.  It may only be the preseason, but stacking up wins for chemistry and momentum purposes is important.