BOSTON – Matt Poitras doesn’t know if it will be enough to crack the Bruins’ roster.

But what he does know is that his preseason performance has made it quite difficult on the club’s brass to keep him off it.

“I don’t know, but I think I played pretty well, and I’ve done everything I can. I think I made it pretty difficult on them,” Poitras said after yet another strong exhibition showing, which included the tying goal in the third period of the Bruins’ 5-4 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night at TD Garden.

The 19-year-old pivot played 18:27 and won 58.8% of his faceoffs in his second game in as many nights and fourth exhibition contest overall as he continues to make a strong push to end up on the Bruins’ roster for the opener on Oct. 11 against Chicago.

“He played almost 17 minutes [Monday] night [in Philadelphia], and tonight, he was over 18 minutes – so back-to-back with what is uncommon travel that you wouldn’t really see in a regular season,” coach Jim Montgomery said of the day-of travel during the preseason.

“Overall, he competed. What you like is that he lost some battles, but he comes back and wins battles. That was a good goal that he scored to tie it up, and he continues to show a lot of poise with the puck.”

Poitras knotted the game at 4 at 4:57 of the third period when he picked up a loose puck along the wall and danced around Washington’s Evgeny Kuznetsov, before charging hard to the cage where he buried a wrister short side past Caps goalie Darcy Kuemper.

“The other team’s line was out there for a little while…I had the puck, I thought just a quick cut back and I would have a little room,” Poitras explained. “I think [Kuznetsov] was a little tired so just create some space and go to the net.”

WSH@BOS: Poitras scores slick goal to even the score

Despite the tight turnaround after playing on Monday night against the Flyers, Poitras said he felt that he got stronger as the game progressed.

“I felt pretty good. I thought [the third] was one of my best periods, it felt good. I kind of caught that second wind,” said Poitras. “I felt maybe a little tired in the first two periods, but then I felt good and my legs felt good.

“Definitely the pace is fast so playing a back-to-back, getting home late…no excuses, though. I still felt good out there.”

Poitras, for the second consecutive home preseason game, skated alongside Brad Marchand, who served as not only a linemate against the Capitals but also a mentor and role model.

“Obviously, it’s really cool watching him growing up,” said Poitras. “I’ve been watching him since I was a little kid so being able to play with a guy like that who’s that caliber of player and holds onto pucks in the O-zone like that and just protect pucks – being kind of a small guy it’s pretty cool to see that.”

Pretty cool, indeed – even for a kid from just outside of Toronto.

“I never really hated any player,” Poitras said with a smirk when asked if he liked Marchand growing up. “Obviously, he’s a bit of a pest out there and growing up in the Toronto area, being somewhat of a Leafs fan…yeah.”

Montgomery and players react to loss vs. WSH

Back Where it Began

Like Poitras, Milan Lucic had two options when he headed to training camp with the Bruins as a 19-year-old back in 2007 – make the big club or head back to junior. As such, he knows well what the youngster is facing during his exhibition audition.

“They just kept playing me, so I was like, ‘OK, that must be a good thing, so just keep going out there and showing what I can do,’” said Lucic. “I think the two of us have completely different skillsets, so for me, I just continued to be physical and show that I could hang with the big boys and all that type of stuff.

“Obviously, he had another good game, strong game tonight, and to see him get that goal to tie it at 4-4 was a good thing for him, and he just keeps building confidence as the camp goes along.”

Lucic had his own strong showing on Tuesday night as he tallied a goal and an assist in his first game back at TD Garden donning the Spoked-B in over eight years.

“It was good. Nice to get one back – get one on the first home game back. I know it’s preseason and kind of unofficial, but obviously good to get that one,” said Lucic, whose wrister off a Washington stick in front tied the game, 3-3, at 8:23 of the second.

“It was nice to be back on that bench and in this room and walking out with the dark colors and all that type of stuff, so as long as it’s been, it actually doesn’t feel that long. It was great to be back.

“To be honest, I was kind of nervous and had a little anxiety on that first shift, and to be able to make a play on a goal right off the bat took a lot of those butterflies away. It felt good, felt right.

“No matter how long it’s been, you kind of erase it and feel like you’re home again.”

The 35-year-old, who also picked up an assist on Mason Lohrei’s first-period marker, skated alongside Johnny Beecher and Jakub Lauko to form what is one of the leading combinations for a potential Bruins’ fourth line.

“I thought we were good,” said Lucic. “I thought we were on the puck and created a bunch of chances, and we were good as a line. I think all three of us are at our best when we’re moving our feet and, obviously, playing with the puck. We did that more than not tonight, so that was good to see.”

Montgomery thought the trio “was a real effective line” for Boston against the Capitals as they displayed an evident “combination of speed and will” despite starting most shifts in the defensive zone.

“I think we played a pretty solid game as a line,” said Beecher. “We were able to force a couple of nice turnovers. Me and Lauks, we play with a lot of speed. We talked before we got on the ice and just utilize that as much as we could. I think we did a nice job with it.

I think we played a nice heavy game there. Really kinda just dialed in, being a heavy, hard line to play against, getting pucks deep when you have to, just using our speed, being reliable in the D-zone. I think it all went well.”

Recap: Capitals at Bruins 10.3.23

Another Day at the Beech

Beecher, who is making his own strong push to crack the Opening Night roster, tallied an assist on Lucic’s goal, while registering four hits and winning 53.8% of his faceoffs in 16:15 of ice time.

“I thought he was really good,” said Montgomery. “I thought he won a lot of battles that created offense. He got a lot of good offense from defense, which is something that was very encouraging to see. He played a really good hockey game.”

The 2019 first-round pick said he has been pleased with his performance in training camp thus far.

“I think so, yeah,” Beecher said when asked if he’s made the impression he hoped to make. “I think it’s tough. At the end of the day, it’s three or four games at the start of the year. I’m happy with the production I’ve had and I’ve done a lot of the things that I wanted to do coming in.

“Obviously, some tough decisions for them up top coming here in the next couple days, but hopefully we can stick around.”

Wait, There’s More

  • In addition to his goal that gave Boston a 2-1 lead at 2:42 of the first, Lohrei played a team-high 24:40 while paired up with Charlie McAvoy. “Obviously, it feels good to see it go in,” said Lohrei. “Definitely special being in this building and wearing that jersey. Those two guys [Lucic and McAvoy] made a great play and just found me late…[McAvoy’s] one of those guys that just makes everybody else on the ice so much better because he’s a world-class talent. Super lucky to get to play with him and learn from him.”
  • Montgomery added that Lohrei “was really on his toes” throughout the night and was highly complimentary of the blue liner’s first-period tally. “This is the best I’ve seen him jump into the offense, really supporting plays,” said Montgomery. “I really love his goal because that’s the way we want to play. Once we get the puck, we want to transition five guys going.”
  • Boston’s bench boss said the club expected to have some tough roster decisions to make this fall given the amount of openings on the roster. “At least we were hoping there were going to be some tough decisions, and that’s what we have in front of us,” said Montgomery. “It’s a lot of guys fighting for jobs, and it’s healthy. There’s some guys that are making it harder. Again, that’s healthy. We have young guys playing well. We have older guys playing well. Overall, the team game’s not near where we need the team game to be. But I don’t think the intensity level is where it needs to be for guys that know they’re on the team.”