BOSTON -- Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins and Washington Capitals scoreless in a preseason game at TD Garden.
1) A near miss for Frank Vatrano in the slot on Boston’s one and only power play of the period. Vatrano took a nice feed from Austin Czarniak, and showed off the wicked shot and release before cranking the puck off the post/crossbar. It was another example of Vatrano’s NHL caliber shot, which had completely beaten the goalie before catching iron, and bouncing harmlessly away.
2) On the other side of the coin, Chris Casto really struggled for the Bruins in a pairing with Joe Morrow. Casto struggled to get out of his own zone on multiple occasions, and had a couple of really careless turnovers on passes inside the D-zone. He won’t get much love from the Bruins coaching staff as a defenseman if he can’t tighten up his puck management skills. On the plus side, he did have three shots on net to lead the Bruins in the first period. But it wasn’t a good opening 20 minutes for him.
3) Honorable mention for the Bruins: Austin Czarnik and Justin Hickman. Czarnik had the pass on the set-up to Vatrano on the power play, and then nearly scored himself when he crashed the net for a rebound bid. He was active in the offensive zone with and without the puck, and looks like a keeper for the Black and Gold. Similarly Hickman was very noticeable on the ice, played a heavy, physical brand of hockey and brought the nasty with a bunch of cross-checks after he felt Zach Sill hit the deck a little too easily.
4) Pretty decent period for Malcolm Subban with 11 saves. He stayed calm early when he got stormed a bit by the Capitals, and made a really nice save with the Bruins shorthanded, and Jay Beagle with the puck all alone after slipping out of the scrum in front. It was a good first 20 minutes to build on for Subban.
5) Two hits apiece for Justin Hickman, Brian Ferlin and Joe Morrow as they’re bringing out the thumping sticks tonight.