The Bruins can move on from Nathan Horton and let him enjoy playing under the radar for the Columbus Blue Jackets because, after one exhibition game at least, his replacement in Boston, Jarome Iginla, fit perfectly on the team’s top line along with David Krejci and Milan Lucic.
After Horton’s surprise departure from Boston during the summer as a free agent, Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli signed Iginla in hopes the future Hall of Famer would have an impact in Boston.
During the first four days of training camp, the chemistry between Lucic, Krejci and Iginla was evident. It continued during the Bruins’ first preseason game against the Montreal Canadiens Monday night at Bell Centre.
Iginla scored a pair of goals as the Bruins defeated the Canadiens, 6-3, as Lucic added three assists and Krejci contributed a goal.
VERY SPECIAL: Boston’s power play, which has struggled the last few seasons, was tremendous against Montreal. Sure, it’s only a preseason game, but Boston went 4-for-6 on the PP and showed quick puck movement and quality goals. The top unit Monday night of Iginla, Lucic, Krejci, Carl Soderberg and Torey Krug was outstanding.
KRUG IMPRESSIVE: The phenom rookie defenseman doesn’t want to be a flash in the pan, and by the way he played in the first preseason game, that won’t be the case. He provided three assists to help Boston to victory. He burst onto the scene for the Bruins last spring during the Stanley Cup playoffs and made significant contributions to help Boston reach the finals. He entered camp in great shape and with one goal: to earn a roster spot. Krug, who has shown an ability to get his shot from the point through on a consistent basis, assisted on Iginla’s second goal of the night. Krug also quarterbacked the power play. So far this preseason, he’s been paired with veteran blueliner Adam McQuaid.
IN GOAL: The Bruins had goaltenders Chad Johnson and Malcolm Subban split net time against the Canadiens. Johnson started and played the first 30 minutes and allowed three goals. Subban made his NHL preseason debut and did not allow a goal in his 30 minutes of action. Early in the third period, however, Subban learned he’s no longer playing junior hockey. He mishandled the puck to the left of his net, then was penalized for playing the puck outside the trapezoid. Subban played against his older brother, Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, for the first time in their respective careers. Malcolm picked up the win with his 12-save performance, while P.K. scored a goal for Montreal.
BATTLING FOR A SPOT: There are two forward positions up for grabs in Boston’s lineup this season, and while the young homegrown prospects in camp are all in the mix, newcomer Nick Johnson made his presence known in the first preseason game, scoring a pair of goals. Johnson has 104 games of NHL experience with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Minnesota Wild and Phoenix Coyotes. Boston signed the 27-year-old forward as a free agent in July.
LINED UP: Here are the lines used against the Canadiens:
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jarome Iginla
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
UP NEXT: With the first of seven preseason games in the book, the Bruins travel to Baltimore on Tuesday and will face the Washington Capitals.