The Bruins and Habs met in the first of two consecutive preseason games in Halifax, Nova Scotia Sunday, with the B’s coming out the victors after a seven to three romp. Powered by three points from Zdeno Chara and a goal and assist from Tyler Seguin, the Bruins defeated their rivals after five unanswered goals in the first and second periods.
Anton Khudobin took the net for the Bruins and looked solid in his first action of the preseason. Despite letting in three goals on twenty-seven shots, the goals he let up were directly the result of defensive breakdowns and he made several clutch and acrobatic saves.
Seguin was the true star of the night: Looking great on the break-out, on the powerplay and even in the corners with decent physical authority. Seguin had excellent chemistry with linemate Nathan Horton and the two connected on the 19-year-old’s goal. Streaking in on the rush, Seguin beat his man and slipped the puck through Canadiens’ netminder Peter Budaj’s five hole.
Segs grabbed his other point with a masterful assist setting up Jordan Caron’s one-timer in the third. In reality, number 19 could have connected on any number of chances throughout the game. He led the B’s second powerplay unit from the half-wall and looked effective in both passing and shooting situations, creating opportunities and 2-on-1s with regularity.
Joe Corvo had an auspicious beginning to his competitive career as a Bruin, grabbing a powerplay goal to even the score in the opening frame on his first shift with the man advantage. Aside from his tally (a mid-circle blast in the umbrella) he coolly and aggressively commanded the offense from his spot on the point.
Big Z was booed rather resoundingly even though the crowd was reasonably fairly divided between fans of the Black-and-Gold and Bleu, Blanc et Rouge. Fortunately for the Bruins, he responded with a pair of assists in the first two frames and the B’s fifth goal. His score, coming on a 2-on-1, was the result of a fortuitous bounce (his pass to his fellow attacker reflected right back to his stick) and he blew a shot past the discombobulated Budaj.
Chara’s three points give him four on the preseason, which leads all Bruins.
Brad Marchand’s homecoming was a good one. The Halifax native snapped the B’s third goal with a little under nine minutes into the second period. When his name was announced as he was credited with the tally, the divided crowd seemed unified in its cheering.
Greg Campbell and Dan Paille also scored for the Bruins and Nathan Horton added two assists. The B’s ran away with the game, dropping seven goals on a hapless Budaj on only 26 shots (resulting in an awful .731 save percentage).
Tomorrow, Boston travels deep into enemy territory to skate against the Canadiens on their home ice. The Stanley Cup champions will look for their third consecutive preseason victory and should be counted on to ice a competitive squad against the hated Habs.