Orlov, issued No. 81, rode on the right side of a No. 3 defense pairing with Derek Forbort , bumping hard-hitting Connor Clifton out of the job for the night.
Hathaway, wearing No. 21, lined up at right wing to start the night on the fourth line, with Tomas Nosek at center and Nick Foligno on left side.
VANCOUVER — Less than 24 hours after sharing introductory handshakes with their new teammates, and without an opportunity to practice with them, new Bruins Garnet Hathaway and Dmitry Orlov pulled on freshly minted Black-and-Gold sweaters and faced the Canucks on Saturday night at Rogers Arena.
“The way we look at it right now, there’s going to be a rotation going on,” said Bruins coach Jim Montgomery, explaining why he opted to sit out Clifton. “I don’t see [Charlie] McAvoy or [Hampus] Lindholm being part of that equation, but … we [have to] keep everybody game-ready and in game shape.”
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Montgomery, though not committing to it, sounded as if he’ll re-insert Clifton into Monday night’s lineup in Edmonton, with Matt Grzelcyk the likeliest to sit against the Oilers. Both Brandon Carlo and Forbort could be in the rotation, given Orlov’s ability to play both on the left and right.
“It’s a group that knows what they need to do — they are fully committed,” said Hathaway, reflecting on joining his new team in the minutes before opening faceoff. “They are playing for each guy in that room, and it’s nice to come in and be a part of it and feel welcome already.”
As for jumping right into the action, without even a morning skate, a smiling Hathaway said he was counting on asking a lot of questions, on the bench and on the ice.
“I’ve had a lot of meetings today already about systematics stuff,” he said. “The coaching staff, and everyone included, has said, ‘Hey, just play … we’ll have a lot of video to look at. We’ll have stuff that maybe didn’t go as planned, as the blueprint goes, but right now it’s think less, just play, and have some fun.”
Montgomery planned to use both former Capitals in penalty-killing situations. Thursday’s trade that brought in Hathaway and Orlov, and sent forward Craig Smith to Washington with a bundle of draft picks, left Montgomery with a deeper, more versatile lineup.
Orlov said he had a sense, based on what Capitals management told him earlier in the week, that he could be dealt, adding that he was apprised of the Bruins’ interest in acquiring him.
“We’re here, and obviously it’s been crazy,” he said with a big smile. “Now it’s just get ready for the game.”
Asked what he would like his role to be with his new team, Orlov added, “Win some games and enjoy … you know, that’s what it’s all about.”
Clifton, noted Montgomery, was understandably disappointed to be the odd man out.
“It’s hard to scratch a guy who’s done so well for you,” said Montgomery. “And he’s played every game, too … so that was hard.”
The Bruins announced late in the morning Nosek, sidelined with a fracture in his left foot since Jan. 19, had been activated. Also, forward Vinni Lettieri was placed on waivers, possibly with the hope that he could land back with AHL Providence.
In another move, the Bruins traded Providence goalie Keith Kinkaid to the Avalanche for Shane Bowers, a former Boston University center who was a 2017 first-round pick (No. 28 overall) by the Senators.
Lettieri, 28, was on track recently to make his Bruins debut, only to be injured in his first practice with the varsity. A free agent signee last summer, he has only limited NHL experience with the Rangers and Ducks but had cobbled together a decent line (5-5–10 in 31 games) prior to his call-up during Nosek’s absence.
Bowers turned pro in the spring of 2019 and has spent all but one game of his four-year career with AHL Colorado. A left-shot center, was called up by the Avalanche this season, only to be injured.
In their 10 games prior to puck drop against the Canucks, the Bruins picked up only two power-play goals — singles strikes vs. the Predators and Islanders — over their last 34 opportunities.
One of the league’s top power-play units over the first four months of the season, the Bruins had slipped to No. 7 overall (23.7 percent) by the start of weekend play.
Montgomery typically uses what has become the standard four forward/one defenseman configuration, usually with McAvoy backing the No. 1 unit and Lindholm behind No. 2.
Orlov, used in all situations in his Washington days, could become one of Montgomery’s PP alternatives. The hard-shooting John Carlson did most of the lock-and-load duty for the Capitals on the No. 1 unit, backing Alex Ovechkin.
Montgomery said he would use Orlov on the PK in his debut and also planned at some point to give him a shot on the power play.
Orlov, with four career power-play goals (to Carlson’s 39), in recent times had been Capitals coach Peter Laviolette’s top choice on the No. 2 unit, also with Ovechkin, one of the few NHLers (perhaps only?) to remain out for the full two minutes (a la Phil Esposito in his Bruins glory years).
Brad Marchand was back on No. 1 left wing duty, as expected, after being assessed a $5,000 fine for what the league determined was a dangerous trip Thursday night on Kraken forward Oliver Bjorkstrand. Marchand, a less frequent visitor to the NHL’s department of player safety in recent years, incurred the sixth fine of his career with the play in Seattle. Largely a factor of his eight career suspensions, a couple of which were for slew footing, Marchand over the course of his career has surrendered some $1.425 million in wages. The L’il Ball o’Hate grossed just under $2.4 million over his first three seasons of NHL duty … In addition to Clifton, forward A.J. Greer and defenseman Jakub Zboril sat after playing in Seattle.
Kevin Paul Dupont can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.