BEIJING — Few Bruins had a better trip to China than Jake DeBrusk.
Not only did he have laughs with Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Charlie McAvoy at a snack shack on the Great Wall, he was feeling on top of the world when it comes to his exploits on the ice.
DeBrusk leaves China with a few items he bartered for at the Silk Market — gifts for family and friends — plus two goals and a shootout winner in two preseason games. He had the two goals Wednesday in the Bruins’ 3-1 win over the Calgary Flames at Cadillac Arena.
Stateside, second-line center David Krejci probably enjoyed his early-morning viewings (or taped showings) of the DeBrusk-Ryan Donato duo. The pair opened the scoring Wednesday, in a game that was a relatively ho-hum affair (shot totals: 29-20 in favor of Calgary, some of them late).
Donato found a streaking DeBrusk, who got in tight on Mike Smith and flipped a shot over the Calgary netminder’s right shoulder with 1:51 left in the first period. DeBrusk added a tap-in goal 5:27 into the third, his scores sandwiched around a second-period absence.
Smirking, he described the situation as “a case of the swine flu” and an “equipment malfunction.” So there were at least a few uncomfortable moments, but not many.
DeBrusk’s other marker came Saturday in Shenzhen, when he scored the shootout winner.
He and Donato had jump Wednesday, playing on a line with fellow young’un Jack Studnicka.
.@JDebrusk gets us going. #NHLChinaGames pic.twitter.com/9ZBOpEPqIX— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 19, 2018
Take ✌️️for @JDeBrusk. #NHLChinaGames pic.twitter.com/ST5zaq1Pzo— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) September 19, 2018
Donato, who has played well this preseason, set up DeBrusk with a slick dish. The Calgary defense had good position, angling Donato toward the boards. But he cut back against the grain and feathered it to DeBrusk in the slot.
If Donato keeps turning nothing into something, he’ll win a job. His shot is one of the best on the team.
It’s easy to like what newcomer John Moore has brought. The ex-New Jersey Devil skates well, as advertised, with quick feet and powerful strides that help carry pucks out of danger. In penalty-kill action, he has a good stick and seems to be developing chemistry with Brandon Carlo, his partner on this trip on the penalty kill and five-on-five.
Another plus: He hasn’t made ill-advised pinches, which got him into trouble at times during his last stop.
There are signs that Moore could be a top-four defenseman if he continues to settle in. At $2.75 million a year, that would make him a valuable roster piece. The only misfire on Moore’s night Wednesday: a slashing call in the third, when he whacked a stick out of a Calgary player’s hands behind the net. Moore loudly argued the call.
Matt Grzelcyk had four opportunities to run the first power-play point in the absence of McAvoy (illness). The other scratches were Martin Bakos and Peter Cehlarik, both likely Providence-bound once the Bruins start trimming the roster . . . Defenseman Kevan Miller capped the scoring with an empty-netter from 170 feet, with 1:15 left . . . Cassidy wants Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson to win more puck battles. Early on, he didn’t heed the call. On one shift in the first five minutes, Forsbacka Karlsson lost a puck battle in the neutral zone, was hammered on the end boards, and handcuffed a teammate on a breakout pass, leading to a chance against. JFK later picked up an assist by smacking the puck loose on DeBrusk’s second goal . . . In the third period, rookie defenseman Jakub Zboril was slow to get up after he was sent face-first into the end boards by Garnet Hathaway, who was called for boarding. Zboril had his nose tweaked on the bench by a Bruins trainer. He later left for the locker room.
It wasn’t pretty
Tuukka Rask was not at his best trying to stop a Sean Monahan breakaway that made it 1-1 with 2.8 seconds left in the second period. With Monahan inside the faceoff dots and bearing down, Rask flopped in a sprawling pad-stack/poke-check jumble of moves. He has made better-looking attempts . . . Emergency backup goalie Derek Dun, the recently signed Canadian of Chinese descent, took warmups but did not sit on the bench . . . Former NBA star Tracy McGrady was in attendance and was interviewed on the video board during a second-period commercial break. “I’ve been coming to China since 1999,” he said. “I’ve seen the evolution of basketball. I think [hockey] will do great.”
Roster is trimmed
The Bruins made their first dozen roster moves Wednesday, among them returning goalie Kyle Keyser to his Oshawa junior squad and assigning ex-Harvard defenseman Wiley Sherman to AHL Providence.
Keyser, who grew up in Florida and signed his first pro contract with the Bruins a year ago, could be in net for the Generals Friday night for their OHL season opener in Kingston, Ontario.
Sherman, who played in Tuesday’s 5-2 win over the Capitals in D.C., soon will begin daily workouts with Providence and should work in as a regular this season for the AHL affiliate.
In the other moves:
Mark Fayne and Marcel Noebels were released from their tryout agreements.
Daniel Bukac (Brandon) and Cedric Pare (St. John) were returned to their junior teams.
Austin Fyten, Olivier Galipeau, Brett McKenzie, Joel Messner, Tanner Pond, and Alex Sakellaropoulos all were designated to the Providence camp.
With the reduced numbers, the Bruins will resume workouts Thursday through Saturday morning in Brighton, prior to their next two preseason games, Saturday night in Detroit and Monday night in Philadelphia.
It’s unlikely that any of the China returnees will join the action until Monday’s game. They were scheduled to land in Boston just before dawn Thursday, and none is expected to resume workouts until Saturday at the earliest.
Camp invitees Daniel Winnik (ex- of UNH) and Lee Stempniak (ex- of Dartmouth) both suited up Tuesday night in D.C. and remain in camp, each hoping to sign a varsity contract.
Kevin Paul Dupont of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Matt Porter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.