(Photo Credit:  Nancy Lane/Boston Herald)

By Andrew Bluestein | Follow Me On Twitter @adbblue

The Boston Bruins fell 5-4 to the Washington Capitals at TD Garden in preseason game number five Tuesday night after an up-and-down hockey game. There were definitely a lot more good things than Monday night in Phileplophia, but there are still many things that need to be cleaned up. 

It was possibly the final opportunity for a handful of players trying to make their case to earn an opening night roster spot. Some guys delivered and did some things to perhaps stick around, and others will find them selfs either being assigned to AHL affiliate Providence or placed on waivers. But there was much to break down in the 5-4 OT loss, so let’s jump in. 

It was another slow start with sloppy play in the defensive zone and way too much standing around. This has been happening far too often during this preseason and is something they will have to clean up fast. Too many bad turnovers led to quality chances for Washington, including their third goal, and Capitals forwards were frequently getting behind the Bruin’s defense, leading to odd-man rushes. There are a lot of sloppy tendencies that just can’t continue once the games that count start.

A really positive development is James Van Riemsdyk, Pavel Zacha, and David Pastrnak showed some strong chemistry together. The three forwards combined on the Bruin’s first goal, and it was a thing of beauty. Zacha hit Pastrnak with a pass from the middle to the right-wing, and Pastrnak showed great patience waiting to hit Van Riemsdyk across the ice, who buried the puck past Capital goalie Darcy Kuemper. Milan Lucic also showed great patience on the Bruins’ second goal by receiving a pass from Charlie McAvoy and hitting Mason Lohrei as a trailer, who ripped a wrister past Kuemper.  

Danton Heinen continues to make a case for a roster spot by doing all the right things. He made a couple of solid plays in the defensive zone, leading to offense the other way, and had another good chance that was blocked off the rush. Loheri continues to showcase his offensive instincts, setting up a couple of chances with puck distribution from the point along with his goal, but he still needs a little work defensively. Milan Lucic looks strong, sparking some quality chances off the rush and on the power play. Matt Grzelcyk had a strong couple of periods, making some heads-up plays, taking away middle passing lanes in the defensive zone, and had a couple of key blocks.

Linus Ullmark was very strong, bailing the Bruins out with a handful of big stops when the Bruins sat back, and they can’t be relying on their goaltender as much as they did. It was a weak finish to the second period, with too much sitting back and not enough urgency to get to loose pucks. Then McAvoy took a penalty late, allowing the Capitals to keep their momentum going into the third period. 

Center John Beecher was solid, making plays both ways and showed off his speed that led to a breakaway chance but was stoned by Keumper and a two-on-one with Jakub Lauko, where he forced a pass across that got broken up. Lucic and Lauko seemed to be a good fit with the former first-rounder, as he and Lauko had assists on Lucic’s goal to tie the game 3-3.

There is no reason Matthew Poitras shouldn’t make the team after another great performance. He scored an impressive game-tying goal down low while working against Evegeni Kuznetsov, a very good NHL regular. Poitras then showed toughness by blocking a shot and finishing his shift while helping clear the puck to get off the ice. Linus Ullark again was a brick wall In the third period, keeping the Bruins in the game with a number of saves on high-danger chances. The defending Vezina Trophy winner finished the night with 36 saves. 

It was another slow third-period start for Boston as they started shorthanded and again had difficulty exiting the zone. Furthermore, It was a lackluster game for Pastrnak, who was a bit soft most of the night and over-committed on Capitals forward Matthew Phillips, which allowed him to walk in and beat Ullmark top shelf for the OT winner. With little time left to improve things, the Bruins will close out the preseason on Thursday night when they visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.