BOSTON - The Bruins jetted to Detroit on Saturday afternoon to face off against the Red Wings in the brand new Little Caesars Arena at 7:00 p.m. ET
This marks the fourth of seven preseason games for the Bruins.
Matt Beleskey is glad to be making the trip, after suffering a foot contusion in Tuesday's game against Detroit at TD Garden.
"Yeah definitely. I don't want to miss any time, that's for sure, so I'm excited to get back out there tonight," Beleskey said from Warrior Ice Arena, where the team gathered Saturday morning. The Bruins do same-day travel to games during the preseason.
"Definitely did not want to have a broken foot to start the year, so I was happy it was fine," he said.
"I took a puck in the face in warmups and a shot in the foot in the third, so it was a good start to year," he smiled. "Hopefully I got those out of the way."
Beleskey worked on his skating and pace heading into this season. Head Coach Bruce Cassidy saw the effects of that in the forward's first game of the preseason.
"That's something we talked about last year and what I worked on this summer, and it's good to hear that he likes it so far - just have to keep building on that," said Beleskey.
"I felt really good last game. It's always good to feel some of your hard work pay off; it's just one game, but I'll build on that tonight and hopefully I can keep improving."
There is plenty of competition in camp up and down the lineup, and Beleskey has enjoyed watching the young players and the energy they bring to the game.
"There are a lot of great players here," said Beleskey. "Just like every year, a lot of competition, but I'm just here to play my game, improve myself, and I've got all the confidence I can do that."
McAvoy Paired With Miller
Charlie McAvoy and Kevan Miller have been paired together for a couple of practices, and will get the opportunity to start as a defense pair on Saturday night.
With all of the young left shots on the team like Jakub Zboril, Jeremy Lauzon, Rob O'Gara, and Matt Grzelcyk, the Bruins staff has wanted to see them in action.
"We're kind of getting to a point where Kevan needs reps on the left side and he'll get those tonight," said Cassidy. "I saw their [Detroit's] lineup - they've got a good group of forwards like Philly did the other night, so Kevan and Charlie should have a good matchup tonight."
"Kevan's a great guy to play with," said McAvoy. "He's so responsible defensively. He's a veteran presence so he's great out there. I'm very comfortable playing with Kevan."
"We communicate well on the ice, and I know where he's going to be, and he knows where I'll be," said McAvoy. "And we've had some great practices together, and I'm excited to get the opportunity to play with him tonight."
McAvoy has been acclimating during his first training camp, and drawing on his experience from the playoffs.
"I've been really excited with how things have gone and just continuing to grow that comfort level, and getting better every day," said McAvoy.
"Just continuing to be comfortable and continue to learn new things every day, whether it be on the ice, off the ice, keep continuing to learn from the veteran guys and keep putting myself in the best position to play some great hockey."
Czarnik Confident In His Camp
Austin Czarnik is pushing for a full-time spot in Boston, and will get another opportunity to show that he makes a difference when he suits up on Saturday night in Detroit.
Czarnik recorded an assist and penalty shot goal in his first preseason game at TD Garden.
"I think you have to take it one day at a time, so you've just got to focus on what you need to do every single day," said Czarnik. "And I feel like if I can play my game and just keep doing the things I'm doing, then I have a chance."
The Michigan native is excited to be a part of the first-ever NHL game played at the new arena in Detroit, Little Caesars Arena, after The Joe closed down for hockey business after the 2016-17 season.
"I'm really excited. It's pretty cool to play the first game in there when you're from there," said Czarnik. "I'm looking forward it and happy to have my family there so it's going to be a good experience."
Bruins Roster vs. Red Wings Sept. 23
Forwards: Matt Beleskey, Austin Czarnik, Jake DeBrusk, Ryan Fitzgerald, Danton Heinen, David Krejci, Sean Kuraly, David Pastrnak, Ted Purcell, Tim Schaller, Zach Senyshyn, Jordan Szwarz, Frank Vatrano
Defensemen: Matt Grzelcyk, Jeremy Lauzon, Charlie McAvoy, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Rob O'Gara, Jakub Zboril
Goaltenders: Zane McIntyre, Malcolm Subban