On October 5th, 2019, the Boston Bruins competed againtThe Arizona Coyotes in the ‘Yotes home opener. The starting lineup consisted of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, Zdeno Chara, Charlie McAvoy and Jaroslav Halak.
Within the first eight minutes, both teams had opportunities. Halak and Coyotes goaltender, Darcy Kuemper, each kept pucks from going into their respective goals, and it became apparent this game was heading towards a goalie battle.
The Coyotes outplayed the B’s significantly in the early frame of the game, having 10 shots on goal to the Bruins 1. The passing looked weak, and the Bruins gave up several break away chances. Luckily, Halak was on top of it.
At 18:41, Brad Marchand scored, putting the Bruins up by 1 goal. The assist belonged to none other than Patrice “Perfect” Bergeron. It was an ugly first period, but the Bruins came out on top. To recap, they recorded 6 shots on goal to Arizona’s 10 – also finishing the period with 6 hits, 2 penalty minutes and a goal.
The first seven minutes of the second period were very slow. It was very back and forth, and neither team established much zone time. At 7:08, David Pastrnak had a beautiful shot on goal followed by a rebound from Marchand. Sadly, Keumper came up big. The Bruins were able to generate a couple of other chances as well, but to no avail.
At 11:05, Connor Clifton and Lawson Crouse were awarded matching minors for roughing. Both teams easily avoided disaster as the penalty minutes ran out. With 2:01 left in the second, Clifton was high-sticked by Christian Fischer. The power play was short lived as Pastrnak was called for interference on a breakaway the opposite way.
To recap the second, the B’s held onto their 1-0 lead, thanks to the stellar goaltending by their backup goaltender. They recorded 9 shots on goal, 9 hits and an outstanding effort from Halak.
At 0:48 into the third, Karson Kuhlman was called for interference on Lawson Crouse. Arizona was able to maintain good zone time and record several shots on goal during their power play. Halak was right on the money for the B’s.
At 3:24, Jordan Oesterle slashed Chris Wagner on a breakaway chance. The first power play unit for the Bruins had quite a hard time getting the puck into the offensive zone. The second unit was able to get things going, but the time on the man advantage had run out before they could make a huge difference.
Towards the end of the third, the Bruins found a bit of a spark, establishing a good amount of zone time and several opportunities to increase the lead. The Coyotes took their timeout with 0:27 seconds left to go and pulled Keumper.
The Bruins defensive coverage the entire game had been questionable. They seemed to be missing passes and assignments left and right. Halak, though, was standing on his head. The Bruins walked off the ice only recording 24 shots on goal. Pastrnak, McAvoy, Carlo and Chara all had less than stellar nights in comparison to Halak, and we will look to see if they can bring a little more energy in Vegas Tuesday. That being said, kicking off the season on the road isn’t the easiest task, and the Bruins have managed to go 2-0-0 – therefore, so far, so good!