Coral Springs, FL - Following Thursday's on-ice session at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington, MA, the B's rookies migrated south to partake in a round-robin tournament featuring the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Nashville Predators and the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Saveology.com Iceplex in Coral Springs, Florida.
Friday marked the first exhibition game for the B's as they squared off against the young hopefuls of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Malcolm Subban got the nod in net, coming off last year's campaign where he led the OHL (Ontario Hockey League) in goals-against average (2.14) and ranked second in save percentage (.934).
Friday's line combinations and defensive pairings:
The B's rookies struck first, which started when blueliner Tommy Cross sent a pass to Seth Griffith behind the Tampa Bay net. Griffith then sent a slick feed to Anthony Camara, who was positioned out front, blasting it past the Lightning goaltender for the 1-0 lead at 12:08 in the first period, marking the first power-play goal of the game.
Tampa Bay answered halfway through the second period with Lightning rookie Adam Erne scooping up a rebound and chipping it past Subban, knotting the game up at 1-1. Not long after, Boston was able to convert on a power-play opportunity, which saw Zach Trotman send a one-timer past Lightning goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis to give the Bruins the lead once again. However, in the final two minutes of the middle frame, Tampa's Nikita Kucherov evened the score at 2-2 with the games first even-strength goal.
The third period featured the most action, with six goals being scored: three from each squad. Moscow native Alexander Khokhlachev started things off for the Black & Gold scoring an even strength goal 8:22 into the final period, which was assisted by Camara and Trotman. Tampa Bay countered 15 seconds later and tied the game yet again with a tally from Danick Gauthier, who was able to slip one by Subban. Less than a minute later, B's rookie Maxime Villemaire responded with the first of his two goals, regaining the Boston lead with 10:12 to go. Villemaire found the back of the net a second time on a power-play goal with just under four minutes remaining, giving Boston a two-goal cushion.
But the Bruins were unable to hold the lead as the Lightning rookies were able to battle back to score two late goals from from Dan Milan and Tanner Richard to ultimately end the game tied, 5-5.
Following the exhibition game, both squads sent five players to partake in a shootout, which held no bearing on the outcome of the game and was more for fun. Ryan Spooner, Seth Griffith, Anthony Camara, Jared Knight and Alexander Khokhlachev represented Boston in the shootout, with Knight notching the lone goal among the five of them. Subban kept four out of five Tampa Bay shootout attempts out of the net, demonstrating great quickness and side-to-side push.
Stay tuned to BostonBruins.com and on Twitter @NHLBruins as the B's rookies take on the tournament host Florida Panthers in the B's second game of the tournament on Saturday. Puck drop is set for 4:00 p.m. ET.