- James Murphy, Bruins reporter, ESPNBoston.com
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BOSTON -- Following the Bruins' 3-2 shootout exhibition loss to the Florida Panthers on Saturday night, Tyler Seguin was laughing about a pregame trip for snacks to the 7-Eleven across from TD Garden. Seguin, who has been the center of hype in Boston since being drafted by the Bruins with the second overall pick in the 2010 NHL draft in June, somehow made it out without any autograph requests and was hardly noticed.
But Seguin was easy to notice during the game, as he continued to live up to that hype by scoring his first goal at the NHL level and adding more cement to his spot on the 2010-11 Boston Bruins roster. Sure it was only a preseason goal, but Seguin celebrated as if it counted, and admitted it counted to him after the game.
"Yes, I don't know about the celebration there, but no, I was excited there," the rookie said of his fist-pump celebration. "I'm glad it finally went in. It was nice to contribute to the team and get the first goal up there in the game. And, you know, it didn't end the way we wanted it to, but it was nice."
Seguin had a chance to help the Bruins win in the shootout as the team's second shooter following Patrice Bergeron, who scored on the team's first attempt, but Seguin was stopped by Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen.
"There was a bit of pressure there and, you know, when I went in, I heard Bergeron say the goalie was back in his net so I wanted to go up high there but I ended up going low," Seguin said. "I kind of whiffed on it a bit, but what can you do."
What Seguin can do, in his opinion, is keep playing hard and focusing on the little things, such as his defensive zone play.
"Well, it's definitely a lot of D-zone stuff," he said of what he is trying to improve on most. "Back in the OHL, you can probably make a couple more errors, and here, if you make those errors, they're going to cost you. It's just wing stuff that I've been working on in practice. Then, obviously, finding the little pockets in this type of level of a game."
Seguin was again playing on the wing with Bergeron at center and veteran leader Mark Recchi on the opposite wing. The 18-year-old rookie is feeling more and more at home with his linemates and credited them for helping to ease his transition into the NHL and learn the aforementioned little things he will need to make it.
"I think with great players, they can adapt to any type of situation, and that's what I'm trying to do," Seguin said of Bergeron and Recchi. "Rex and Bergy are doing a great job at it, just letting me come on their line. I think we're really connecting out there."
Horton adds another goal, likes his new linemates
Nathan Horton scored the Bruins' second goal of the game, taking a feed from David Krejci, a center he termed after the game as "the greatest stick-handler" he's played with since entering the NHL in 2003.
Many had Horton pegged as the right wing on the top line with Marc Savard and Milan Lucic this season. But with Savard out with post-concussion syndrome for the foreseeable future, coach Claude Julien decided to put Horton with Krejci and Lucic. And on Saturday, the trio showed some chemistry.
"Yeah, I thought we meshed well out there, and those are two very dynamic players," Horton said of his new linemates.
Horton was very impressed with the magician-like work that Krejci can display.
"He's just a special player," Horton said. "I really think he's the best stick-handler I've played with. He just can elude so many players, and then his vision is amazing. It will be fun if I can play with him on a regular basis."
Meanwhile, he watched Lucic display his physical game, specifically standing up for him by fighting Panthers forward Tristin Grant, who laid a questionable hit on Horton in an earlier shift. Horton appreciated Lucic stepping up and praised him for his play.
"He's the ultimate hockey player," Horton said. "He can do everything. It's pretty amazing just to watch him. He fights, he hits and he scores. He's a pretty good player, and obviously he's a nice guy too."
Bruins assign Sauve, Alexandrov to Providence
The Bruins assigned forward Max Sauve and defenseman Yuri Alexandrov to Providence on Saturday night. The Bruins are down to 33 players on their roster, including injured players Marc Savard (post-concussion syndrome), Marco Sturm (knee) and Trent Whitfield (Achilles).
James Murphy covers the Bruins for ESPNBoston.com.