Rapid Reaction: Bruins 2, Coyotes 1
March, 13, 2014
By Joe McDonald | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- The Boston Bruins extended their winning streak to seven games with a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday night at TD Garden.
With the win, the Bruins have gained control of the top spot in the Eastern Conference with 93 points, one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who did not play Thursday.
The Bruins received goals from Zdeno Chara and Jarome Iginla, while goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 21 saves.
During this current streak, the Bruins have defeated the New York Rangers, Florida Panthers (twice), Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens and the Coyotes.
After the Bruins returned from a three-game road trip, Thursday's game could have been a letdown but that wasn't the case. Boston's penalty kill proved crucial as it went 5-for-5 against the Coyotes' power-play unit.
After the Bruins killed off a Jordan Caron double-minor for high sticking, Boston gained the early lead when Chara scored his 16th goal of the season for a 1-0 advantage at 5:54 of the first period. Phoenix turned the puck over in its own end when Chara gained control and walked in from the blue line. Teammate Chris Kelly set the screen and Chara's shot beat Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.
Rask faced only eight shots in the opening period, but he made a significant save when he kept a loose puck from crossing the goal line. The Bruins gained control and quickly scored at the other end of the ice when Iginla redirected Johnny Boychuk's shot at 17:31 to give Boston a 2-0 lead.
The Coyotes scored at 8:14 of the third period to cut their deficit when Lauri Korpikoski redirected a shot past Rask, but the Bruins held on for the win.
SAVE OF THE GAME: With the Bruins holding a 2-0 lead early in the second period, the Coyotes' Shane Doan, who was playing his 1,300th career game in the NHL, capitalized on a Boston turnover and created a breakaway. Rask held his ground and made a left-pad save to secure the Bruins' two-goal advantage.
IN AND OUT: After missing the past two games as a healthy scratch, Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton returned to the lineup against the Coyotes. As a result, fellow blueliner Torey Krug was a healthy scratch. It was the first game he's missed this season. Overall, Krug has 13 goals and 22 assists for 35 points, including a plus-11 rating in 65 games.
UP NEXT: The Bruins host the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday (1 p.m.) at TD Garden.