Ailing Coyotes fall behind early, can’t recover vs. Bruins

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Another “JFK” may be emerging in the Bay State.

Bruins rookie forward Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson — coaches and teammates identify him by his initials — scored his first career goal 1:12 into the game, and Jake DeBrusk‘s goal less than two minutes later was all Boston needed for a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.

“It’s difficult to describe,” said Karlsson, who was recalled from Providence of the American Hockey League on Nov. 9.

“It’s a great feeling. It’s nice to get the first one, just so you don’t start thinking about it. It’s nice to get that out of the way. Hopefully we can keep going from there.”

Karlsson scored from near the crease after Noel Acciardi stole the puck from behind the net and flipped it in front.

“Noel made a great play,” Karlsson said. “All credit to him. I just tried to put it in.”

DeBrusk scored his eighth goal of the season and fifth in his last six games at 2:45 of the first period. He poked in a loose puck as it rolled into the crease off the stick of Brad Marchand for a 2-0 lead, and the Bruins made it stand up.

Jaroslav Halak made 31 saves for Boston after giving up six goals on 25 shots in a loss at Colorado on Wednesday. He is 9-3-2 in his career against the Coyotes.

Brad Richardson scored his sixth goal at 9:10 of the second period, and the Coyotes carried the play in for the rest of the period but couldn’t get the equalizer.

“We had a bunch of chances and we just didn’t score,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said.

Arizona went on a power play with 1:46 remaining in the game, and goalie Darcy Kuemper left the ice 20 seconds later for a 6-on-4 advantage, but Halak was up to the task.

Halak saved four shots in the final 1:03, and defenseman Jeremy Lauzon saved a potential goal when he cleared a puck away from the crease in the final seconds.

“I was just ready for the rebound,” Lauzon said. “I knew there were two guys in front. I turned around and the puck was right there.”

Kuemper made 20 saves in his seventh consecutive start while Antti Raanta deals with a lower-body injury. Kuemper is 0-3 in three career starts against Boston.

Arizona outshot Boston 32-22, the Bruins’ lowest shot total of the season. Boston had only three shots in the second period, the first coming with 5 minutes remaining.

The Bruins, who are 3-1-1 while playing five games in eight days, will remain in Arizona until Monday before traveling to Detroit for the final stop of a four-game trip.

“I want the guys to go sit in the sun and enjoy themselves and get vitamin D,” coach Bruce Cassidy said.

Halak saved a short-handed wrist shot by Michael Grabner on a 2-on-1 break two minutes into the second period to preserve the lead. Grabner leads the league with four short-handed goals and the Coyotes lead the league with 10.

NOTES: Coyotes D Jason Demers is expected to miss the rest of the season after suffering a lower-body injury against Nashville on Thursday. … Ds Jakob Chychrun and Alex Goligoski also were out. … The Coyotes wore tan, brown and olive camouflage jerseys on military appreciation night.

UP NEXT

Coyotes host Vegas on Wednesday in the third game of a five-game homestand.