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Black & Gold Scrimmage Recap: Bruins Shake Off the Rust, as Team Chara Tops Team Bergeron 6-1

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

PROVIDENCE, RI - Training camp shifted to the Dunkin Donuts Center on Sunday night for the Black & Gold Scrimmage. There's no better way to shake off the rust of the summer than with an intersquad game just three days into camp.



With most of them out of game shape, it was a good opportunity to get the legs going, work on timing and start to generate chemistry with defensive pairings or new lines.

"It shows that we've only had two days of practice - it's about working out the kinks, it's about maybe getting familiar," General Manager Peter Chiarelli told media following the scrimmage. "There weren't a lot of plays being made. There were more mistakes than plays being made, so it's nice to get that out of the way."

"But it's a good exercise for Providence, we just signed a long extension with them and we have a really important working relationship with them, and this is something that we gave to them and I thought it was a very good thing."

The teams were split into two groups of 18 skaters and two goaltenders, wearing the Bruins' home and road jerseys. Zdeno Chara and David Krejci headed up Team Black, while Patrice Bergeron and Chris Kelly led Team White (full lineups can be found below).

Tuukka Rask and Jeremy Smith minded the net for Bergeron's squad, while Niklas Svedberg and Malcolm Subban split the time between the pipes for Team Chara.

With roster spots up for grabs, it was no surprise to see the young players with high energy.

Team Chara ended up defeating Team Bergeron 6-1, with all seven goals coming from prospects who suited up for Providence last season.

Chris Casto, Zach Trotman, Jared Knight, Alexander Khokhlachev and Alex Fallstrom all scored once, while Tyler Randell potted two.

Casto, entering his second year pro, was the first to find the twine, beating Tuukka Rask with a shot from the left point through plenty of traffic just 2:43 into the first. David Krejci had the helper and was one of the only veterans to put up a point on the night.

"I think some unlikely guys scored today and lucky enough to be one of them," said Casto, who didn't really think he'd be the first to find a way past Rask.

"Playing against the higher-end guys is a challenge for us, being younger and not used to playing against them, but it's a lot of fun and we all hope to play at that level someday."

Team Chara then took a 2-0 lead late in the first period, when Zach Trotman powered one in from the right circle on Rask, assisted by Randell.

While Team Bergeron didn't find the back of the net, Bergeron and Brad Marchand dazzled the sellout crowd with their playmaking.

Marchand had a chance in alone, but Svedberg got a piece of the shot. He also stickhandled around the zone during a four-on-four, passing with Bergeron and Kevan Miller before feeding David Warsofsky backdoor after he flew in from the point. The shot hit the post.

"I feel pretty good," said Marchand. "I still want to continue to work on my conditioning and I think that's something I can work on all year, but for the most part, I feel good, I feel strong, I feel quick, and I feel more confident than I did last year."

"He's looking great," said Bergeron. "He's definitely making some great plays and was very quick on his feet and creating a lot of chances by doing that. And we have good chemistry together, so we just have to keep working on it - it's great to see him like that already."

Bergeron had jump as well, setting up a slick point-blank pass to Bobby Robins, who was stopped by Svedberg, and feeding a wraparound pass to Seth Griffith, who let off a bomb towards the net.

Griffith has clearly been taking the opportunity given to him, being able to play with Bergeron and Marchand and feed off of the vets' chemistry.

Team Chara went up 3-0 in the second period. Rask wasn't his sharpest self, not having played in game action since May. After a bobbled puck wound up in the blue paint, Randell saw the chance and cashed in.

Rask redeemed himself, stopping a perfect point-blank chance by David Krejci set up by Loui Eriksson, drawing out a "Tuuuuuuuuuuk" chant from the crowd.

The play showcased what a potential Krejci-Eriksson center and right wing pairing could look like. While they didn't start out the game on the same line, they played together for most of the second and third periods.

"He's a pretty smart player and he kind of knows where I am on the ice," said Krejci. "And in the second and third periods, a couple of times I didn't expect him to give me the pass on the tape and he managed to get the pass through, so that's great."

"Hopefully we'll get to play again together and create some chemistry and create even more scoring chances than we did today, and go from there."

Smith and Subban went in for Rask and Svedberg with 8:34 left in the second period. Rask stopped 15 of 18 shots, while Svedberg stopped all 14 he faced.

On the ensuing shift, Knight welcomed Smith to the Black & Gold when he roofed one that sent the water bottle flying off the net. Trotman and Matt Lindblad assisted on the tally, making it 4-0 Team Chara.

Randell's first goal may have been a gift, but his second was a beauty, firing in a shot behind Smith after a feed from Lindblad to make it 5-0.

"It's definitely motivating, knowing there's spots open and with the role I play, the physical, energy role, that's the spot that's need right now," Randell said postgame.

"Everyone's playing their game, playing hard, and you've just got to do what you can do, and I'm just playing my game and doing my job to the best of my ability, and hopefully I'll get a shot."

Khokhlachev made it 6-0 just 25 seconds later, whipping off his high-powered shot from the left circle.

Alex Fallstrom put Team Bergeron on the board off a pass from Robins, before his squad fell 6-1.

Following the game, GM Peter Chiarelli offered his takeaways from the scrimmage.

"I thought Koko played well, I thought he made a lot of good plays, he's a grittier offensive player," said Chiarelli. "I thought Spooner had flashes, he made some good plays on the rush. I've been liking Casto, he plays a smart game and he's really improved, and of course, Randell had a couple goals and he's a tough, tough character and you know, he always shows something here or there.

"We looked at all the young guys and I thought [Brian] Ferlin made some good plays too. His game is almost below the hash marks. He moves effectively, but when he's below the hash marks, he's a strong, offensive player. He reminds me a little bit of Erik Cole, he reminds me of how Erik Cole used to play. I thought he did well."

Lucic, Pastrnak, Campbell Don't Suit Up; Hamilton Gets Scrimmage Off

As expected, Milan Lucic didn't play in the scrimmage. He's still being cautious after coming off summer wrist surgery and hasn't been cleared for games yet.

David Pastrnak also didn't play, as he's dealing with a tweaked shoulder sustained during Saturday's practice.

"He's still, I would say he's day to day and as Claude said, he tweaked his shoulder, so we want to be careful with him," said Chiarelli.

Gregory Campbell remains out with a minor mid-core issue and hasn't started skating at camp yet, while Linus Arnesson hasn't been able to skate in main camp due to a tweaked groin.

Dougie Hamilton also didn't suit up, but his scratch was simply about numbers and nothing else. The Bruins have 16 defensemen skating in camp.

As for any update on Reilly Smith and Torey Krug?

"Nothing there to report," said Chiarelli.

View the scrimmage lineups below.

TEAM BERGERON (TEAM WHITE)

Lines and Pairings

Anthony Camara- Chris Kelly- Brian Ferlin
Brad Marchand -  Patrice Bergeron - Seth Griffith
Dan Paille - Ryan Spooner - Simon Gagne
Alex Fallstrom - Ben Sexton - Bobby Robins

Dennis Seidenberg - Steve Eminger
Chris Breen - Johnny Boychuk
David Warsofsky - Kevan Miller

Goalies: Tuukka Rask, Jeremy Smith

TEAM CHARA (TEAM BLACK)

Lines and Pairings

Matt Fraser - David Krejci - Ville Leino*
Matt Lindblad - Alexander Khokhlachev - Loui Eriksson*
Jordan Caron - Carl Soderberg - Jared Knight
Justin Florek - Bracken Kearns - Tyler Randell*

*Loui Eriksson joined Krejci and Fraser for the second and third periods. Tyler Randell slotted in for Eriksson with Khokhlachev and Lindblad, and Leino took Randell's spot wit Kearns and Florek.
 
Zdeno Chara - Zach Trotman
Matt Bartkowski - Chris Casto
Joe Morrow - Adam McQuaid

Goalies: Niklas Svedberg, Malcolm Subban
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