Boston Bruins Preseason Opener Features New-Look Lines


Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Bruins are looking to keep the New England winning streak alive tonight in their preseason opener against the New Jersey Devils. The Patriots are coming off of a 40-32 win against the Buffalo Bills on the road while the Red Sox are coming off of a 4-3 win against the Toronto Blue Jays on the road. Boston will be starting the preseason at home, although not at the TD Garden. The first preseason game will be played at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence, and there are quite a few notable players and pairings that should be watched

As per the Boston Bruins official website, the lines will be as follows:

Jimmy HayesRyan SpoonerBrett Connolly
Zac Rinaldo — Ben Sexton — Tyler Randell
Jake DeBrusk — Alexander KhokhlachevSeth Griffith
Brandon DeFazio — Joonas Kemppainen — Max Talbot

Matt Irwin — Brandon Carlo
Jakub Zboril — Zach Trotman
Tommy Cross — Colin Miller

Jonas Gustavsson, Jeremy Smith

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  • The first line of Hayes, Spooner, and Connolly could be a preview for what Boston’s third line will look like to start the season. Jimmy Hayes appears to be the player shifting to the left side of the lineup, rather than Loui Eriksson as previously though, although this is only the first preseason game of the year. This game should allow Claude Julien to get a preliminary idea of how Hayes adjusts to the left side, as well as how the line gels together as they’ve never played together in the past.

    A few other notable players in the game at forward who are fighting for a roster spot include Zac Rinaldo, Alexander Khokhlachev, Seth Griffith, Joonas Kemppainen, and Max Talbot. Rookie first round draft pick Jake DeBrusk will be lining up along side the speedy, and skilled duo of Alexander Khokhlachev and Seth Griffith, who should compliment his game nicely. 

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    Matt Irwin, Zach Trotman, and Colin Miller are all in the mix for a starting job on day one of the regular season on the back end in Boston. The three of them are split up across the lineup, paired with 2015 second round pick Brandon Carlo, 2015 first round pick Jakub Zboril, and 2007 second round pick Tommy Cross respectively. Each player should get a chance to showcase their ability in the first preseason game as no legitimate starters from the Boston Bruins last season will be in the game, with the exception of Trotman who finished off the season last year on the top pairing with captain Zdeno Chara, a spot that he’s been practicing in at training camp.

    The two goalies who should be considered the front-runners for a backup role in Boston this season will be splitting the duty in net tonight, as Jonas Gustavsson and Jeremy Smith get the call to action. Gustavsson, playing on a PTO, and Smith, playing on the final year of his contract are both very capable goaltenders, although Smith hasn’t played a single regular season NHL game, which might give Gustavsson the slight advantage going forward in the goalie competition.

    Follow Brandon Share-Cohen on Twitter @FansidedBrandon to discuss all things Bruins and sports

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