GLENDALE, Ariz. — It’s fair, even necessary to talk about some of the factors that led to the Bruins’ come-from-behind 4-2 victory over the Coyotes on Saturday at Jobing.com Arena.
When you’re in a battle for a playoff spot, any lost opportunity — any lost points — are hard to swallow.
"There’s things we can learn from this game," coach Dave Tippett said.
But these were special circumstances because, right now, the Bruins are a special team.
Boston was supposed to be a little travel-weary after playing Friday night in Denver. But when Bruins entered the third period trailing 2-1 — their first deficit in two weeks, a stretch of 20 periods — there was no sign of fatigue, no sign of quit.
Jarome Iginla redirected Zdeno Chara’s point shot to tie the game early in the third period, and Shawn Thornton redirected Daniel Paille’s bad-angle shot for the game-winner in a period in which Boston was able to sustain pressure in the offensive zone.
"We don’t want any easy games. We want to get better as a team, and this kind of game allows you to do that," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "It showed a lot of character in the third to come back and win that. We did all the right things. We were determined to win and it showed."
It may be of little solace to Coyotes fans, but the Bruins have been doing this to everyone during their stunning 12-game winning streak — two shy of the franchise record set in the 1929-30 season.
"They’re a big, heavy team that plays the right way," Tippett said. "They challenge you with their work ethic and they challenge you in one-on-one situations. They find ways to win games."
To beat the Bruins requires letter-perfect execution. The Coyotes had plenty of positives to point to Saturday night. Captain Shane Doan cashed in on a rebound of Brandon McMillan’s shot to tie the score at 1-1 midway through the first period, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson dazzled the standing-room-only crowd of 17,468 by undressing Boston’s Loui Eriksson at the blue line before walking in on goalie Tuukka Rask to score his 12th goal of the season on his own rebound.
"I was looking for someone to pass it, to but I didn’t see anybody, so I just figured I’d do it by myself," Ekman-Larsson said.
But Doan admitted getting caught up ice on Iginla’s game-tying goal, and the Coyotes lost a lot of one-on-one battles as the game progressed.
Those mistakes and deficiencies will be discussed as the team embarks on a three-game trip to New York, Pittsburgh and New Jersey, but the overwhelming sentiment after this one was to spit it out and move on. The schedule does not afford the luxury of dwelling on the past.
"There’s no time for that. We’re going on a hard road trip here," Tippett said. "You’ve got 11 games left. You’ve got to do whatever you can to get as many points as you can if you’re going to get in.
"We get our heads up and let’s go. No time to be down right now."