Bruins get through scrimmage unscathed
In front of a fired-up crowd that nearly packed TD Garden for a glorified practice, the Bruins got through their pre-Stanley Cup Final scrimmage on Thursday night without incident or injury.
Breaths were held briefly for Brad Marchand, who bumped into Connor Clifton, jammed his left hand, and was flexing it on the bench. But Boston’s leading scorer did not miss a shift and later set up a David Pastrnak goal. And fans, who intermittently chanted, “We Want the Cup,” gave a standing ovation as Zdeno Chara and Patrice Bergeron addressed them after the pair of 25-minute periods were done.
“Injury risk was our biggest concern,” coach Bruce Cassidy said, noting that he’ll feel the same about practices Saturday and Sunday morning, after the team’s day off on Friday. Marchand, Cassidy said, was “fine” afterward. “He kept playing . . . No issue.”
Marchand was his usual self in the trash-talking department, Pastrnak said.
“It’s starting to feel real,” Pastrnak said. “There’s some days left, but with the weekend coming up, it’s here.”
■ David Krejci arrived at work running a fever, so he was sent home. Cassidy anticipated he would return to practice Saturday. General manager Don Sweeney joked last week that Krejci doesn’t like to practice, but Cassidy took Krejci at his word.
■ Tuukka Rask played a half, ceding the net to Zane McIntyre, while Jaroslav Halak worked the entire game in the opposite net. “Got his work in,” Cassidy said of his starter. “If he wanted to play the whole thing, he could have.”
Rask looked sharp, making the crowd holler “Tuuuk” early after stopping a Danton Heinen deflection in front, and denying Trent Frederic and Heinen later in the first half.
“I was there,” Rask said, when asked about his performance.
“It’s practice. We scrimmage in practice. I didn’t really want to accomplish anything . . . It’s been a long layover. It’s kind of like a training camp situation in that sense. It’s always in the back of your head that you’re going to start the Final soon. You’re focused, but you’re just waiting.”
■ The Black team won the scrimmage, 5-3. Pastrnak scored twice and Bergeron once for the White team, while David Backes (two), Anton Blidh (two), and Karson Kuhlman tallied for the Black team. The entire team ran through five-on-five, five-on-four, four-on-four, and six-on-five situations.
“I’m going to give it to Jaro for a bit,” the Czech-raised Pastrnak said of Halak. “He’s Slovakian, so I love to score on him.”
■ Charlie Coyle — whose grandmother, 90-year-old Mary Kelly, was interviewed on the video board during halftime — said he was feeling good.
“It felt more like a game,” he said. “Good to get good habits again, and that pace, starting and stopping. When you don’t play for a while, you feel it a little bit.”
■ The Black Aces who participated: Blidh, Paul Carey, Peter Cehlarik, Frederic, Jeremy Lauzon, McIntyre, Zach Senyshyn, Jack Studnicka, Urho Vaakanainen, and Jakub Zboril.