Tonight at 7pm the Bruins take the ice for the final time this preseason against the Washington Capitals. Most the regulars are in the lineup to get in one final tune up before the games start to count. After tonight the dust will have pretty much settled on fringe players and who’s making the club for opening night next Thursday against Winnipeg. Below is the lineup of players who made the trip to Washington D.C. for tonight’s game:
Beleskey – Krejci – Pastrnak
Marchand – Bergeron – Eriksson
Hayes – Spooner – Connolly
Kelly – Kemppainen – Rinaldo/Randell
Krug – McQuaid
Irwin – K. MIller
C. Miller – Trotman/Morrow
Starting Goalie: Tuukka Rask – Backup: Smith
Obviously tonight is a big night for the fourth line. Kemppainen has done enough in my estimation to land an opening night spot. But with Talbot not making the trip it makes you wonder how it’ll all shake out. Talbot and Kemppainen both killed penalties together Wednesday night against the Rangers as well. Tyler Randell is continuing to make it near impossible for the Bruins to send him back to Providence with his tough play. Which is pretty cool for a guy who was Boston’s 6th round draft pick back in 2009.
I’m looking forward to watching Krug play tonight mainly because I think he’s had a really nice showing this preseason. Colin Miller, who’s had a fantastic preseason, will get to really show off more of his offensive side as well with a better compliment of forwards in the lineup tonight. And of course Jeremy Smith will probably see some action in net in the second half of the game. He’s still fighting for the backup role after Jonas Gustavsson did a good enough job the other night to live another day.
With two teams facing off tonight that have nearly all the regulars in the lineup it should be a great game. Boston didn’t score a single goal last year against Washington (shut out 3 times) so it’d be nice to see them pop a couple on Braden Holtby to get that old taste out of their mouth.