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Rookie Camp Game 3 Recap: Boston Finishes Tournament with 4-2 Win over Nashville

by Caryn Switaj / Boston Bruins

ANTIOCH, TN - Boston's rookies capped off their tournament in Tennessee with a 4-2 victory over Nashville on Tuesday. They finished with a win and two losses, falling to Tampa Bay and Florida.

David Pastrnak, Seth Griffith, Alex Fallstrom and Brian Ferlin all scored in the win.

Griffith got Boston on the board midway through the first period. Mitchell Dempsey stole the puck at the offensive blueline and sent a chip pass up to Griffith, who punched in his first of the tournament from in tight.

Nashville tied it up 1-1 in the final minute of the period, after Griffith took a high-sticking penalty behind the play. Tournament MVP Filip Forsberg then put a power-play goal past Malcolm Subban through traffic.

The Bruins ran into penalty trouble in the second period. With eight seconds left in a Predators' 5-on-3 opportunity, Subban made a split save, stopping the puck under his left skate blade. He followed that up later on the penalty kill with sprawling glove saves that showcased his athleticism.

"That's a good sign that my timing is coming back, so I'm just looking to keep doing that consistently throughout main camp," said Subban.

"Obviously you come here and you want to play well…I thought I played pretty well, except for the first goal, I thought I should have had - but it's getting your focus back, getting your timing back, and getting ready for main camp. Obviously, the pros are one step higher, you're playing against men there, so there is a great tournament to get you ready for that."

Pastrnak scored his first goal in the Spoked-B, albeit in rookie action, going top shelf after connecting with Griffith for a give-and-go on the power play. It gave Boston a 2-1 lead. Pastrnak created the chance by protecting the puck along the boards and sending it out to Griffith, who rotated down low and fed a point-blank pass to Pastrnak in front.

"I'm sure if he didn't score, you know, we'd be talking about it a lot, and good to see him get his first goal," Providence Bruins Head Coach Bruce Cassidy said following the game. "Even though it's just a rookie tournament, it's out of the way now and he can sort of focus on playing with the big boys [in main camp]."

Griffith finished with a goal and an assist, and was arguably the Bruins' best forward of the game.

"He's a skill guy, so the puck was following him, and he was pretty strong on it today," said Cassidy. "The last couple days, his pace wasn't as good as it could have been and today, he was a little bit more determined."

"We figured he'd be one of our better players and obviously the first couple of games he was just okay, he made some plays, but today was more like what we expected."

Fallstrom extended the lead to 3-1 just 23 seconds into the third period when he picked off a puck at the blueline and quickly released a shot from the right circle that went off the post and in. It came during four-on-four action.

Nashville pulled within one, but Ferlin solidified the win with 12:45 left in the final frame. Cory Kane made a heads-up pass through the middle to Ferlin, who flew down the right wing and ripped it past to put Boston up 4-2.

Kane, signed to an AHL deal with Providence, was noticeable in all three rookie games, showing his strength and smarts. Ferlin joined Pastrnak as scoring his first goal in the Spoked-B during game action.

While Pastrnak played center for the first two games out of necessity, he slotted in on the right wing for the final game, with Fallstrom at center and Matt Lindblad on the left wing. The wing is where General Manager Peter Chiarelli said he'll be for training camp.

"I played right wing all the time with my club that I played [with in Sweden] and the centerman, it's always different than the wing," said Pastrnak. "I feel better on the right wing."

Pastrnak made a few gaffes in the defensive zone during the game - something he's learning to scale back on with his "risk/reward" style of play, as Chiarelli labels it.

"Every game you're getting better with more experience, and I'm just trying to get as much experience as I can and now I know I have to be more simple in the defensive zone," said Pastrnak.

"And I didn't know this two months ago. So I think every game, you have to take some experience of the game, and not always you have to take just the positive, you know, always you have to think what you did wrong and then next time make it better."

Boston was outshot 25-18 by the Predators. Subban stopped 23 of 25 shots in the 4-2 win.

The goaltender's focus will now shift to main camp, which opens on Thursday.

"I feel a lot better than before the tournament started," said Subban. "Obviously it's a great tournament to get your feet wet and just get your game back, so I thought I did that over the last two games, and I'm looking forward to main camp right now."

Quotes & Observations

-- Defenseman Linus Arnesson left the game after the first period, due to a tweaked groin. He was given a maintenance day on Monday and the training staff wasn't sure how he would be for the game.

"I assume it's a mild injury, but I don't know," said Cassidy. "I'm pretty sure he'd be ready to go, but you'd have to get an update from the training staff."

-- With rookie camp wrapped up, some of the prospects will be heading off to their teams, while others will make the jump to main camp, where plenty of competition will play out.

"I'm like everyone else, excited to see how the team's going to take shape, because it affects our team," said Cassidy. "So I like to see how the guys are going to do - especially our guys in Providence, who we invested a lot of time in - I'm rooting for the Floreks and the Frasers and the Cunninghams, those guys, that have a shot this year."

-- Cassidy highlighted defenseman Chris Casto's tournament play. An undrafted free agent signing last year out of the University of Minnesota Duluth, Casto progressed quickly as a first year pro in Providence in 2013-14, guided by Cassidy and his staff. He played valuable minutes once Kevan Miller earned a full-time stay with Boston, building more confidence in the process.

"He's a guy for the future on defense," said Cassidy. "I mean, they've got a lot of young guys in their lineup [in Boston] but he's a guy to keep an eye on as well."

-- Pastrnak and Casto were named to the all-tournament team, voted on by team scouts and officials.

-- Like forward Cory Kane, blueliner Frankie Simonelli has an AHL deal with Providence. He signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Wisconsin. Simonelli, along with Kane, stood out with his consistent play, and a great shot that earned him a goal in Boston's second game.

Game 3 Lineup vs. Nashville

Matt Lindblad - Alex Fallstrom - David Pastrnak
Anthony Camara - Ben Sexton - Seth Griffith
Mitchell Dempsey - Cory Kane - Brian Ferlin
Dawson Leedahl - Spencer Asuchak - Kevin Sullivan

Linus Arnesson - Chris Casto
Mike Young - Frankie Simonelli
Mickael Beauregard - Lee Moffie

Starter: Malcolm Subban // Backup: Adam Morrison

Scratches: Andrew Ammon (F), Bryce Aneloski (D)
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