TORONTO - The Bruins have put their first game - and win - in the past. They now have set their sights on the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The team arrived to Toronto after its 6-3 victory in Columbus on Thursday night, and hit the ice for practice on Friday afternoon at the Leafs' practice facility, the MasterCard Centre. They'll face Toronto on Saturday night at Air Canada Centre (7:00 p.m. ET, NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub).
All players took part in practice except for Tuukka Rask, who had a maintenance day. Goaltending Coach Bob Essensa filled in as the second goalie.
"It's good because we have a goalie that's got a maintenance day right now, so it works out well for him, too," said Head Coach Claude Julien.
Essensa donned Anton Khudobin's extra mask for the skate and flashed out his glove whenever possible - and the players certainly had fun with it.
"Obviously he'll be playing in Winnipeg in a few weeks [for the Heritage Classic], so it gives him a little bit of practice there, but it was something that worked out well for us," said Julien. "And in this situation, you prefer that than an empty net."
Rask backstopped the Bruins to win No. 1 in Columbus with 28 saves.
When it comes to the goaltending approach for the rest of the road trip, through Toronto and Winnipeg, Julien wasn't necessarily locked in yet with his plan.
"We'll see how it goes. I'm not stuck on making long-term plans," said Julien. "I have a vision of it, but we'll see. [On Saturday] my plan is to look at things in the morning. I've warned both goaltenders."
"The one thing I can say is I don't want the one goaltender to be sitting too long. Dobby's been good. He's been solid. The longer you sit him, the tougher it is to get back into it, so hopefully we can keep both goaltenders in a groove here, so I guess that's sort of my short-term plan right now."
Update Coming on Bergeron
Patrice Bergeron and Adam McQuaid did not join the team in Toronto on Friday. They are both still back in Boston recovering from day-to-day injuries.
Julien anticipated an update on Bergeron at some point on Friday afternoon.
"We haven't had an update yet," Julien said at the conclusion of the team's practice around 1:30 p.m. "We should have one this afternoon, so if he's not on the ice [Saturday] morning, I'll address it, whether he's coming in for the game or I'll let you know if he's not, so right now, we have nothing from today."
Pastrnak Called Upon
David Pastrnak notched the first four-point night of his career on Thursday with two goals and two assists. It marked his fifth two-goal game and sixth two-assist game. He finished at plus-6 on the night.
Only the first game is in the books, but Pastrnak is already looking stronger, especially in one-on-one battles - and he's being tasked with greater defensive challenges, playing alongside David Backes and Brad Marchand. He'll get the nod on that line with Marchand when Bergeron returns as well.
"Obviously it's a big difference. I'm 20 now and still young, but if you take 18 and 20, I think it's a big difference," said Pastrnak. "I'm growing too, so I feel stronger with more confidence in the battles."
Pastrnak's second goal on Thursday was an empty-netter. It came as a result of him being tasked by Julien with shutting down the Blue Jackets in the final minute - a role that's not as familiar to him, but one that he relishes.
"It was my first empty-netter goal. It's nice to get that there - I went out there and all I was focusing on was to do my job in the D zone, and somehow it bounced to me," said Pastrnak. "I enjoy to play out there in the last minute and I would like to keep doing that."
Video: BOS@CBJ: Pastrnak seals the win with empty-net goal
Nash, Moore Getting Props from Julien
In third period of Thursday night's game, with two rookies up front making their NHL debuts in Austin Czarnik and Danton Heinen, and the Bruins knotted at 3-3 with Columbus, Julien opted for experience.
He did so, because he could - with players like Riley Nash and Dominic Moore on his roster, he could easily slide them up the lineup.
Julien slotted Nash into Czarnik's spot with Matt Beleskey and Jimmy Hayes, while Moore moved up into Heinen's spot with David Krejci and Ryan Spooner.
"It's great, you know…you get in a tight situation late in the game, you go with a little bit more experience there and I think it was great," said Julien. "I thought Nash had a good game, and Moore, who can play center, left or right wing, came in there and gave us a little bit more experience there on that Krejci line as well, so it's nice to have those options, and it's important to have those options."
Nash and Moore started the game in "fourth line" duty with Noel Acciari, and have become a mainstay tandem on the penalty kill.
Matthews Keeping It Cool
There hasn't been a shortage of media attention around Leafs forward Auston Matthews, who eased in with a four-goal NHL debut. Give the 19-year-old props: he keeps his cool and stays level-headed in the midst of the media storm - something that won't be going away anytime soon.
"Just kind of keep doing the same thing," Matthews said after the Leafs' Friday practice, of his approach to Game No. 2. "Learn from last game, continue to take the good with the bad, and roll forward."
"There's a lot of young guys in here, so we're all going through similar things, and we can kind of rely on each other and talk to each other a lot."
"They've got a good up-and-coming team, I think that's not a surprise to anybody," said Julien. "They've done a good job drafting lately and they certainly decided to develop those players and give them opportunities."
"Developing is one thing, but when you score four goals, I'm not sure how much development you need there," Julien smirked. "There's no doubt they're a good team and you have to respect them."
Practice Lines and Pairings 10/14
White Jerseys: Ryan Spooner-David Krejci-Danton Heinen
Gold: Brad Marchand-David Backes-David Pastrnak
Gray: Matt Beleskey-Austin Czarnik-Jimmy Hayes
Merlot: Dominic Moore-Riley Nash-Noel Acciari-Tim Schaller
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Rob O'Gara
John-Michael Liles-Colin Miller
Goalies: Anton Khudobin, Goaltending Coach Bob Essensa