CHICAGO - The Bruins closed out the preseason with a solid effort in a 1-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center on Saturday night. With the Blackhawks boasting much of their regular lineup, Boston went with a younger and less experienced group that held up well against Chicago's championship-winning core.
Anton Khudobin made 35 saves - surrendering only a power-play tally to Patrick Sharp at 11:13 of the third period - while all but locking up Boston's backup job.
The Bruins, meanwhile, put 38 shots on Chicago goalie Corey Crawford, but couldn't solve the ace netminder. Boston had a goal waved off because of goaltender interference for the second consecutive game, when Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson's tally was negated after Jake DeBrusk bumped Crawford in the paint midway through the third.
Video: BOS Recap: Bruins shut down in 1-0 loss to Blackhawks
Matt Beleskey had a game-high five shots on goal, while Sean Kuraly and Tim Schaller paced Boston with five hits apiece.
"We knew we had some younger players in the lineup and that it would be a challenge, but certainly had opportunity to get our share of goals," said Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy. "Give credit to their goaltender, [he] played very well…all in all it was a good evaluation day for us. Obviously we'd like to get the win, a tough way to lose when you hang in there that long. I thought some of the guys we were looking at did some good things."
With the preseason now in the books, here are some takeaways from the final exhibition contest:
Jake DeBrusk (3 SOG, 12:44 TOI vs. CHI)
DeBrusk: "I thought this camp was better than the three I've been here for now. Even though I had some points last year, I think that this was my best camp. I showed more of what I can do and that I'm ready for this league and ready for the pace.
"It's up to management now and hopefully they see that I can help the team win in different ways. It's gonna be either really exciting or back to the drawing board."
Matt Grzelcyk (2 SOG, 20:44 TOI vs. CHI)
Cassidy: "I thought it was, again, a good game by Grizz. I thought he did some of the things that we expect him to do: little area plays, neutral zone, stepping up, starting the transition, activating on the rush, good power play entry there, made a heck of a play into the slot.
"I thought he was very good…I really noticed Grizz tonight and that's the type of game he needs to play where he's involved with the puck and doing the things defensively."
Video: Grzelcyk speaks ahead of the final preseason game
Anton Khudobin (35 saves vs. CHI)
Cassidy: "Dobby was very good. The shot that beat him was an excellent shot by Sharp - he scores from there a lot. He was very good and I'm sure he'd be happy with his game for the most part. There's always things you can clean up, but two solid efforts in the preseason for Dobby. That bodes well for our season. If his game's on, that's gonna help us a lot."
Khudobin: "[The preseason] was good. Couple games, first game - wasn't shaky, but you didn't play for a long time. Other than that it was good. Whole camp was pretty good… I felt great [against Chicago], so hopefully that feeling's going to stay with me."
Video: BOS@CHI: Khudobin shuts down Kane's opportunity
Rob O'Gara (3 Hits, 1 SOG, 18:25 TOI vs. CHI)
Cassidy: "He's competing hard. I think system-wise, he's a little bit loose, overaggressive at times, which is better than under-aggressive, we can reel him in. But he's up, his gaps are good, and he's challenging. It's how he has to play."
O'Gara: "My dad said, 'Leave no regrets.' He's been telling me that for as far back as I can remember. That's all I can do. I think I put my best foot forward. We'll see what happens. That's all you can do is control you and try to play your best and look yourself in the mirror and know you gave your all. I feel I did."
Teddy Purcell (4 SOG, 14:18 TOI vs. CHI)
Cassidy: "I liked what he brings. But we've made an onus on trying to get some youth and speed in the lineup. If that's the way we decide to go then those guys will be ahead of him, but that's a decision we'll make quickly."
Frank Vatrano (2 SOG, 11:20 TOI vs. CHI)
Cassidy: "Frank was trying to create some plays off the rush. He was trying to turn some pucks over and he's going to have to continue to work on it. He hasn't scored in preseason, which probably bothers him when you're a goal scorer. But he has to remember there's lots of other parts of his game that he's got to stick with."
Video: Bruins react to 1-0 preseason loss at Chicago