(Photo Credit:  Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY SportsBob DeChiara)

By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter @adbblue

The Boston Bruins played their third preseason game at TD Garden Friday night, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 in a shootout. We got to see a lot of players for the first time this preseason. John Farinacci, Kevin Shattenkirk, Hampus Lindholm, Pavel Zacha, David Pastrnak, Linus Ullmark, and Brad Marchand, wearing the C for the first time, all made their debut. There was a lot of jumbling and matching, as we always see in the preseason. 

It was a mixed-bag game for the Bruins, with some good and some bad. It was just about an even pendulum swing. But in preseason games, it’s better to emphasize the good things, and there certainly were plenty of that. 

First, breaking down the negative. The first period was lackluster. Puck handling was sloppy at times, with too many ill-advised passes. There seemed to be a lack of continuity with the puck movement in the offensive zone. The start of the third period was weak. The Flyers applied a lot of pressure in the defensive zone and had the Bruins stuck with cement in their boots and sitting back on their heels. 

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Boston seemingly just couldn’t get a clean breakout. They eventually got out of their early third-period funk and pushed back. However, a horrible miscommunication between Brad Marchand and Kevin Shattenkirk led to a bad giveaway, allowing Flyers forward Bobby Brink to walk right down the slot and beat Ullmark to tie the game at three.    

Now, more importantly, the positive. Mason Lohrei continues to showcase his talent at both ends of the ice. The former second-round pick made many great plays, including a stretch pass to David Pastrnak, leading to a chance in the first period. The coaching staff had the 22-year-old defenseman paired with Charlie Mcavoy, which could be a preview of the future. 

Danton Heinen was solid defensively, making some good positional plays in the defensive zone, including a block that led to a rush the other way and some sustained zone time. He also scored the Bruin’s third goal when he was in the right spot in front of the net and slid it under Flyers goalie Cal Petersen. Heinen touched on his play after the game. “I felt better the second half of this game, I think I made more plays and was able to get one.” Heinen had another great chance in the third period but was robbed by Petersen. He is in Bruins camp on a PTO and is trying to seal his second stint in Boston. 

Matthew Poitras still makes a hard case for being on the opening night roster. He is so positionally sound and has great vision on the ice. He made two plays that stood out, where he showed his patience using the high offensive zone to distribute the puck, and both led to quality chances. Poitras post-game said, “Just trying to make plays out there. It’s kind of my game to make plays in the O-zone, and I felt alright out there.” The 2022 second pick seems to always be in the right spot on the ice. Linus Ullmark was solid between the pipes, making a number of saves on high-danger chances early in the first and second periods, which we saw much of last season.

Jakub Lauko showed some grit and snarl. Right after he and Louie Belpedio left the box from matching roughing penalties, they dropped the mitts, and it was a vintage no-defense hockey fight. Both guys threw heavy punches at one another and got their five minutes worth. David Pastrnak was doing his usual David Pastrnak thing as the Bruins superstar scored two beautiful goals. One on the power play and one on a Flyers turnover led to a breakaway showcasing his incredible hands going top shelf. Pastrank was asked about the power play after the game. “Definitely a different look, definitely something I’m not used to, kind of shifted over to the other side a bit. We had a lot of good opportunities, and we ended up getting one.”

Overall, the Bruins had a lot of promising takeaways from this game and did a lot of stuff they can build on. Their young talent continues to make big strides and shows promise, which is very good for the organization’s future. The Bruins’ next preseason game will be on Monday in Philly again against the Flyers at 7 p.m.