That is more like it! After two straight forgettable performances against the Avs, the Bruins responded with a 6-2 win over the Coyotes Saturday night in Arizona. Boston got contributions up and down its lineup, with six different goal scorers and 12 players recording at least one point. Backup goaltender Anton Khudobin made his first start of the season, stopping 29 of the 31 shots he faced.
This was not a perfect game by any means, but it is hopefully one that they can build off of moving forward. Entering this game, the Bruins were trying to right their ship against a Coyotes team desperate to get its first win of the season. The B’s got off to a slow start in the first period and had fans thinking “here we go again.” Once again, we expected to see some urgency out of the gate, but did not get it.
Arizona got on the board first late in the opening period, and the Bruins found themselves trailing for the third straight game. That deficit would only last 36 seconds, though, as a Zdeno Chara shot deflected off of David Pastrnak and past Coyotes goalie Louis Domingue to quickly tie the game.
We saw it on Wednesday night and saw it again tonight; This team has resiliency.
It took a while, but the Bruins finally found their stride in the second period and completely controlled play, notching three goals in the process. They took advantage of an early power play opportunity as Jake DeBrusk tipped in a David Krejci one-timer to give Boston the lead.
DeBrusk finished the night with two points and three hits. He played with a high level of confidence, and he is not afraid to go to work the dirty areas in front of the net.
With the team’s lackluster play the previous two games, someone needed to step up and provide a boost for the rest of the lineup. That someone was none other than the man who wears the ‘C’ on his chest, Big Z. Chara put the team his back in this game, notching three points while providing a physical presence on the back end. He did not hesitate to jump into plays, and it paid off five minutes into the second when he converted on a pass from Marchand.
Another veteran who responded nicely Saturday night was Brad Marchand. After he assisted on Chara’s goal, the big man returned the favor late in the middle frame for a goal destined for highlight reels.
From behind the net, Chara wrapped the puck around the boards to find Marchand behind the Coyotes defense for a breakaway. Marchand showed patience despite having a defender closing in, and he placed a backhander just under the crossbar to extend the lead to 4-1. This was a perfectly executed play all the way through.
Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson cut the lead to 4-2 with 3:35 remaining in the game, but the comeback threat did not last for long. Once again, the Bruins immediately responded—this time on a Tim Schaller goal 23 seconds later.
Schaller works his tail off night in and night out and has now scored in two straight games. He is an absolute bargain on the fourth line with a $775,000 cap hit.
The Bruins’ final goal of the night is one that shows how bright the future is in Boston. The scoring reads Anders Bjork from Danton Heinen and Jake Debrusk. The young guns connected for a power play goal in the final two minutes of the game to add on even more insurance.
This marks Bjork’s first NHL goal, and it is bound to be the first of many. He is the third Bruin to score his first career goal through four games this season. Not too shabby. Speaking of firsts, Heinen produced his first NHL point on an assist Wednesday night and added another two against the ‘Yotes. He is going to make it difficult for the team to send him back down to Providence.
[Photo via Midland Daily News]