With their first win in the books, the Boston Bruins can confidently move forward.
They’ll try to build on a convincing victory by continuing their success over the host Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night.
In danger of opening with four straight losses for the first time in 51 years, Boston (1-3-0) scored the first five goals in a 6-2 rout at Colorado on Wednesday. Jimmy Hayes had a goal with three assists and Tyler Randell scored in his first career game.
”That’s huge for our team,” Hayes said. ”Carry the momentum.”
Starting in place of the struggling Tuukka Rask, Jonas Gustavsson made 20 saves and received some solid defensive play in front to help take the collective pressure off a Bruins club that’s been pressing through the first week.
"As a team, we’ve just got to know what we did," Gustavsson told the Bruins’ official website. "We kept it simple and played solid defensively and that gave us a lot of scoring chances so I think it goes hand in hand – if you have a good defense, you’re going to get a lot of offense, so we’ve just got to stick with what we’re doing and we’ll be fine."
Rask, who posted a 4.72 goals-against average and .846 save percentage in the three first three games, could be back in net after getting Wednesday off.
"You have to make good saves at the right times," he said. "And then you can’t afford mistakes."
Rask has made plenty of saves while recording a 1.40 GAA during his five-game winning streak against Arizona (3-1-0). Boston owns a 20-7 goal advantage while taking the last six from the Coyotes.
Brad Marchand had three goals with an assist in the two meetings with Arizona last season, and could return Saturday after missing the last two contests with a concussion.
"It’s protocol and following that, he’s feeling better so he’s able to skate," coach Claude Julien said. "We’ll work on that progression and hopefully have him soon."
Mike Smith stopped all but two of the 106 shots he faced in Arizona’s first three games but was pulled after yielding three on 17 in Thursday’s 4-3 loss to Minnesota in the second of back-to-back contests.
"You can tell our team was chugging, there was fatigue but we hung in there," said Coyotes coach Dave Tippett, whose team trailed 3-0 early in the second period.
Dating to his time with Tampa Bay, Smith has a 3.50 GAA while losing his last six regular-season and playoff starts against Boston.
Arizona rookies Anthony Duclair and Max Domi haven’t wasted time announcing their presence while combining for seven of the team’s 13 goals and five assists. Domi assisted on Thursday’s second-period goal by Duclair, who was part of the March deal that sent popular defenseman Keith Yandle to the New York Rangers.
"It’s been unbelievable so far, but at the same time it would have been better if we’d gotten the win (Thursday)," Duclair said. "Things are rolling (offensively) and we’ve got to keep them going."
It’s uncertain if veteran forward Antoine Vermette will be in the Coyotes’ lineup after suffering a lower-body injury Thursday.