BOSTON - Kenny Agostino was the American Hockey League's Most Valuable Player last season. His 24-goal, 83-point output for the Chicago Wolves was a clear indication of his offensive ability and why B's general manager Don Sweeney signed the 25-year-old over the summer to compete for one of the team's open wing positions.
And with a crop of fellow youngsters trying to make their mark, Agostino is attempting to stand out above the crowd. A goal like he scored on Thursday night will certainly help.
Agostino buried the winner on a breakaway with 1:40 remaining in overtime to lift the Bruins to a 2-1 preseason victory over the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden.
"Whenever you are able to produce, it gives you some confidence," said Agostino, who also assisted on Paul Postma's tying third-period tally and landed a game-high four shots on goal.
"Still feel some rust in my game that I'm sure we're all feeling right now, you know? So just trying to keep taking some positive steps forward. Got to clean up some areas away from the puck, but hopefully we can get that sorted out."
Video: PHI@BOS: Agostino dangles past Lyon for the OT winner
Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy believes the winning goal is something the winger can use as a springboard for the remainder of camp.
"He's a guy that had success in the American League offensively and a bit in St. Louis in his short kind of stint there last year," said Cassidy. "It was a big play at a big time for him. He made a few other plays tonight, so maybe this will kind of get the ball rolling for him.
"He's another guy we haven't talked about a lot. I'd still consider him a young player, he just has more pro experience than some of the other guys. But he can help the team."
Gabrielle Finding the Line
Jesse Gabrielle was having a strong night, with his speed and tenacity no doubt making a positive impression on the B's coaching staff.
But his tenacity went a bit too far during the third period, ending his night earlier than expected. After being called for an interference penalty, Gabrielle let the officials know of his displeasure, earning him a 10-minute misconduct.
With just 7:31 left in regulation, the winger was relegated to the dressing room for the rest of the night.
"It happened in Development Camp, so here's a guy who walks on the edge, and I thought played a very good hockey game tonight," said Cassidy. "At ice level, he had a few other guys frustrated. If that is what makes him tick and he can stay on the right side of the line, then we're OK with it. But clearly he crossed it tonight.
"I think if as a young guy you try to take on the officials in the National Hockey League, you are going to lose, and he lost tonight."
Gabrielle tries to model his game after Brad Marchand - also the 20-year-old's favorite player - and had a chat with his idol regarding the incident after the game.
"I just try to be a sponge around him," said Gabrielle. "When you can watch him play and experience it and have him on the bench… I went up to him after the game and talked to him about it and [he] said, 'You just got to find that line.' He said, 'You're going to get caught sometime and you just got to learn from it.'"
Tuukka Rask made his first appearance of the preseason and looked sharp, stopping 30 of the 31 shots he faced.
"Yeah, he was excellent," said Cassidy. "Real good, looked composed, rebound control was good, was square to pucks. A big positive for us."
Video: PHI@BOS: Rask stones Simmonds on the doorstep
Bjork Gets a Taste
After spending the first week of camp practicing alongside Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand, Anders Bjork got in his first game action with the duo. The rookie winger showed flashes of his dynamic skill and appeared poised each time he touched the puck, landing three shots on goal in 17 minutes, 17 seconds of ice time.
One area for improvement, according to Cassidy, is Bjork's play away from the puck, which the coach believes will continue to develop with more experience.
"His shift length will get up there, and that is one of the things he will learn is that it's difficult to be an impact player every shift in the National Hockey League so sometimes the puck doesn't follow you," said Cassidy. "I think away from the puck, he's going to realize how good these players are as well, enough to have a better stick and angles…those are teachable things. Very correctable things."
Yet again, there was frustration with the league's new crackdown on slashing and faceoff violations after the game. Seven slashing penalties were called Thursday night, as well as one faceoff violation on the Bruins.
As both the players and officials attempt to get familiar with the revised rulings, patience is wearing thin.
"I think that the faceoff is definitely an adjustment," said Bergeron, who went 9 for 18 at the dot. "I think that the faceoff is a skill and you work your whole career to develop that and you work on your hand-eye and timing and everything and try to take that away.
"You have to adapt, I guess. It's something that I'll definitely do, but I don't know if I'm a huge fan."
One positive from the penalty parade? The Bruins went a perfect 9 for 9 on the kill.
Video: PHI@BOS: Postma rips a slap shot past Lyon