Coral Springs, FL - In the third and final matchup of the rookie tournament in Coral Springs, the Bruins rookies took on the Nashville Predators squad to cap off the trip in the Sunshine State. Coming into the matinee, the Black & Gold were seeking their first victory of the tournament, after falling to Florida 5-4 on Saturday and finishing even with Tampa Bay on Friday, 5-5. Sunday afforded the young Bruins one more opportunity of game action to catch the eye of B's management before Bruins Training Camp begins on the 11th of September. Malcolm Subban was given the nod in net for his second start of the tournament opposite Nashville's Marek Mazanec. Sunday's lines and defensive pairings:
The Bruins started the first period strong, scoring less than two minutes into the game with Seth Griffith scooping up a rebound and putting it into the back of the net to give the B's an early 1-0 lead. Griffith's first goal of the tournament marked the third consecutive game where the Black & Gold rookies had struck first. Subban showed great composure in the first frame, playing a key role in killing off a four-minute penalty to Ryan Spooner for high-sticking, making four athletic saves to keep the Predators scoreless. Subban turned aside all 11 shots he saw in the first period.
Nashville kept the pressure on and was able to tie it up with 8:45 remaining in the second period with Predators forward Michael Moffat's tally, to bring the two squads even heading into the third period.
Subban made the save of the game at 14:23 into the third frame when a Predator found the puck all alone in the slot and fired a wrister from point blank, which Subban quickly snagged with his glove-hand keeping the score knotted at 1-1.
However, with 11:19 remaining in the third, Nashville's Felix Girard found himself with the puck in the slot, in a similar location that Subban had saved the previous shot from. But this time, he was unable to stone Nashville and the Preds picked up their first lead of the game, 2-1.
Boston then battled back to tie the game with just under seven minutes to play, as Alex Fallstrom picked up a scrappy goal, slipping it past the Nashville goaltender from just inside the right faceoff circle. Despite both squads trading multiple chances, no team could convert in the closing minutes of the third period, leaving the game in a stalemate. With the tie, Boston finished the tournament with a record of 0-1-2.
Sunday's exhibition shootout competition consisted of Seth Griffith, Alexander Khokhlachev, Alex Fallstrom, Justin Florek and Ryan Spooner. The first four Bruins were stopped before Spooner converted in the B's last attempt. Subban once again showed great quickness, surrendering only one goal to Nashville's Joonas Rask, who is the brother of B's goaltender Tuukka Rask (he was seen around Ristuccia Arena, helping to work out Tuukka, in late August).
The Black & Gold rookie squad will head back north to Boston to finish up the remainder of Rookie Camp, before Boston's Training Camp begins on Wednesday.