After a slow start to the game the Bruins were able to take down the Arizona Coyotes and win their sixth straight game. A very impressive milestone reached with the win goes to Tuukka Rask. Rask now holds the record for most consecutivue home games without a regulation loss at 18 games since the start of the season. So far this year Rask has gone 12-0-6 at home, and that is a huge reason why we have the best record in the league. Now let’s recap yesterday’s action.
Even before the game started Arizona was already having some problems. Starting goalie Annti Raanta was on the ice for warmups ,but for an unknown reason was replaced by Adin Hill as the starter. However, the Coyotes were not alone in their early games woes as Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon took a match penalty for a hit targeting the head of Derek Stepan. Lauzon had just exited the penalty box and missed a great scoring chance on a partial break away. Visibly frustrated Lauzon went to finish a check on Stepan and went in too aggressively, making contact with the face of Stepan, resulting in the targeting call and him hitting the showers early. The Bruins were the more undisciplined team to start this game, taking three first period penalties. Thankfully, Rask was on his game early, and during the first penalty kill he absolutely robbed Conor Garland after a rebound trickled out towards the right dot. The Bruins would have a few chances of their own, but nothing coming close to the quality of the Garland slap shot that Rask just calmly gloved. The first period ended tied at zero, with the Bruins out shooting the Coyotes 9-6.
The second period started with the Bruins still needing to kill over four minutes of major penalty time after the Lauzon hit. The Bruins penalty killers were doing well until, a rebound was coughed up by Rask after a point shot. In an attempt to clear the puck Chara slapped it right to a waiting Phil Kessel, who buried his shot into the net for his 12th goal of the season giving Arizona a 1-0 lead. This bad bounce would not cause the Bruins to falter, and after a Crouse roughing penalty the Bruins would tie it up at 1-1 just over three minutes later. The goal was a thing of beauty, as Bjork broke down the right wing using his speed to draw the penalty killers attention while Krejci snuck down the left side all alone. The cross ice pass may have been a bit late, but Krejci reversed the flow of the puck hitting McAvoy, who then sent a pass across the slot to a wide open Coyle and the score was tied on his 11th goal of the season. The goal came just four seconds after the power play had expired, but it wouldn’t take long for the Bruins to get a true power play goal. About five minutes after the Bruins first goal, Arizona center Brad Richardson would take an interference penalty in front of his own net. Richardson leads all Arizona forwards in shorthanded time on ice, as well as being their best faceoff man, and it didn’t take long for the Bruins to take advantage. Off the opening faceoff of the power play the Bruins won the puck, getting it back to the point. Krug then passed if from right to left to Pastrnak, who fired a shot on goal which would be tipped in by Bergeron. His 23rd goal giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead. The Bruins were still not finished flexing their power play muscle. Just over two minutes later on a similar play Pastrnak would take another shot. This time from the left dot, and this time it would be tipped in by Debrusk for his 18th of the year and it was 3-1 Boston. The teams would finish the second period tied in shots at 21, but the Bruins still holding that 3-1 lead.
The third period couldn’t have had a worse start for the Bruins, especially after taking full control of the game in the second period. Just thirty seconds into the period Krug would block a Clayton Keller shot from the left dot, only to have defenseman Jakob Chychrun step into an absolute rocket labeled for the top right corner over the glove of Rask. Chyrun’s 11th of the year. That’s two bad breaks for the Bruins, two goals for Arizona and it’s 3-2 with over nineteen minutes still to play. Fortunately for the Bruins Rask was seeing the puck at an elite level this afternoon. Even when the Bruins coughed up the puck right in the slot on two separate plays Rask stepped up and made some outstanding saves. One such save came against Taylor Hall with just over three minutes to play. A misplayed puck found it’s way onto Hall’s stick in the slot and he fired a wrist shot glove side, but Rask didn’t even blink. Hall then had another highly dangerous chance just seconds later as a rebound found its way through some traffic in front of the net and Rask stonewalled him yet again. It wasn’t until the final fifty second of the game where the Bruins got an empty net goal by Coyle, his 12th of the season and second of the day, to put Arizona away. Even then, however, Rask was forced to make another impressive save against Christian Fisher with just over thirty seconds left to preserve the two goal lead. The final score the Bruins 4 and the Coyotes 2.
Final Remarks/Three Stars
The Bruins were in control for most of the game outside of a few tough break goals. If not for some great saves by Arizona goalie Adin Hill it could have been a very lopsided final score. Rask was on top of his game, and because of that he gets the first star making 29 saves on 31 shots. The second star for me goes to the first and last goal scorer for the Bruins Charlie Coyle. Not only didn’t he score two goals, but his line created a number of scoring chances and clearly showed the difference in depth scoring between these two teams. Finally the third star goes to Arizona goalie Adin Hill. After being given that starting job just minutes before puck drop he performed admirably and kept his team in the game. Hill made 29 saves on 32 shots, and really prevented this game from getting out of control as the Bruins had a number of high danger scoring chances. The Bruins will look to keep their six game winning streak alive and push it to seven today in the second game of the back to back on the road in Detroit. Hopeful the team can rest up, have a smooth flight over, and be ready to go for another early afternoon game.
Featured images courtesy of Tim Bradbury/Getty Images