FINAL SCORE: Blackhawks 3, Bruins 2 (OT)
IN BRIEF: Swedish free-agent signee Par Lindholm scored his first goal with the Bruins but Patrick Kane's goal in overtime gave the Blackhawks a 3-2 preseason victory over the B's in Chicago. Ryan Fitzgerald scored the other Bruins goal. BOX SCORE
BRUINS PRESEASON RECORD: 1-0-2
PATRICK KANE'S OT WINNER:
SWEDISH CONNECTION: OSKAR STEEN TO PAR LINDHOLM IN 3RD:
BRANDON SAAD BEATS MAXIME LEGACE FOR CHICAGO LEAD:
B'S RYAN FITZGERALD TIES IT AT 1 ON A PENALTY SHOT:
DYLAN STROME ON THE POWER PLAY GETS HAWKS ON BOARD:
Vs. Flyers, Monday, 7 p.m., NESN Plus
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The Bruins continue to trim down their roster closer to the final group that will start the regular season as they cut a couple more promising young players from training camp. The team announced that defenseman Jeremy Lauzon and winger Ryan Fitzgerald were both sent down to AHL training camp in Providence after both players put together solid camp performances.
Fitzgerald scored in the first home preseason game against the Detroit Red Wings last week, and Lauzon scored the second goal in Monday night’s 4-2 win over the Blackhawks while playing some pretty consistently rugged defense in his own end.
“[Lauzon] is a fun kid to watch, because he’s got a lot of passion for the game, very competitive. He just has to learn what he can get away with recovery-wise. He’s a guy that was talked about getting outside the dots at times where he’s got to work really hard to get back. He’ll give up the good ice sometimes,” said Bruce Cassidy. “Good for him [on the goal]. He got his shot through, I thought he was a lot more under control [against the Blackhawks]. You’d have to ask him, but he seemed less nervous as well and just wanted to play. Might just be a difference from playing a few more games.”
Both players put their best foot forward in the first full training camp for each of them, but their youth and their waiver-exempt status probably made it a bit easier to send them down at this point. With Lauzon now out of camp, it comes down to Matt Grzelcyk and Robbie O’Gara competing for a chance to break camp with the big club in the wake of Torey Krug’s injury likely costing him the first handful of games this season. Fitzgerald made a great impression on the Bruins coaching staff with his skill, hockey IQ and ability to show a little grit to go along with the offensive gifts that made him a scoring star at Boston College.
But Fitzgerald was also part of an extremely crowded field of talented skaters up front where it would appear that Anders Bjork and Jake DeBrusk have the inside track on NHL jobs, and more experienced skaters like Teddy Purcell and Kenny Agostino are still grinding away for chances at a spot on the Boston roster.
Amidst the current turmoil at the NHL level, the Bruins delivered a little good news about the future today . . . with more potentially to come.
The Bruins announced the signing of a pair of prospects/former draft picks -- Boston College forward Ryan Fitzgerald and defenseman Emil Johansson -- to entry-level contracts that will kick in next season. There will likely be another wave of signings with the Bruins from the amateur ranks once players like Charlie McAvoy, Anders Bjork and Jakob Forsbacka-Karlsson are finished up with their college teams in the NCAA tournament, though it remains to be seen exactly which players end up taking the NHL plunge.
There was some uncertainty as to whether Fitzgerald would definitely sign with Boston after completing his senior season at BC, but he will immediately join the Providence Bruins on an amateur tryout agreement after signing a two-year deal. Johansson will join the Bruins on a Professional Tryout Agreement with a three-year entry level deal that kicks off next season.
The 5-foot-10, 177-pound Fitzgerald was an alternate captain for BC in 2016-17, with 12 goals and 19 assists for 31 points in 34 games with 56 penalty minutes and a plus-14 rating. Fitzgerald is also the son of Billerica native and former Bruins forward Tommy Fitzgerald, who took to Twitter on Friday to voice his overwhelming pride over his oldest signing an NHL contract. He was a fourth-round pick by the Bruins in 2013.
Johansson, 20, completed his first season with Djurgardens IF of the Swedish Hockey League in 2016-17, establishing career highs with 7 goals and 10 assists for 17 points with 26 penalty minutes in 49 games. The B's selected him in the seventh round in 2014.