Bruins look to continue dominance of Coyotes
And also looking for their 14th straight win over the Coyotes and ninth in a row at TD Garden.
After routing the Toronto Maple Leafs to end a three-game losing streak Saturday night, the Bruins left immediately after that game for a late-afternoon start in Ottawa Sunday. They fell behind 1-0 but won the game in overtime, making the difficult travel weekend easier to accept.
“Tonight was a game we stayed patient and eventually got things to go our way,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said after Torey Krug converted a nifty pass from David Krejci at 1:53 of overtime for the win. “I thought we were the better team the last 40, 43 minutes whatever it was, and eventually we got rewarded.”
Saturday night, the Coyotes, who, like the Bruins, are in the middle of a severe injury situation, rallied from three goals down but lost 5-3 to the San Jose Sharks at home. Now, Rick Tocchet’s team opens a four-game road trip — and are apparently ready to get a goaltender back.
The news on Antti Raanta was bad and it appears he may well be out for the season with a lower body injury. Darcy Kuemper, out since Nov. 21 with a lower body injury, could return as early as Tuesday.
Rookie Adin Hill has played the last six games — four wins and then two losses — to the tune of a 1.62 goals-against average and .939 save percentage. Calvin Pickard was claimed off waivers from the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 1.
General manager John Chayka, tweeting on the Coyote’s immediate goalie future, wrote, “I think it will be a bit of goalie by committee at this stage. Whoever’s playing well will get the net.”
Sunday, on a conference call, the GM said his team was, “at a stage where they need some opportunity and they’re looking for a chance. Now we’ve got a chance (for them) … That’s the group we’ve got and that’s the group we’re going to go with.”
Halak, 9-4-2 on the season, is an impressive 9-3-2 with a 2.30 GA, a .930 save percentage and two career shutouts against the Coyotes.
Kuemper, 4-5-2 on the season, has made three career starts against the Bruins, losing all three, with a 2.71 GAA and an .884 save percentage. Pickard has won his only career start against Boston, yielding two goals.
The Coyotes, who lead the NHL with 11 shorthanded goals, fell to 13-13-2 with Saturday’s second straight home loss.
“We played hard. We’re right there,” Tocchet said. “We’re a little depleted but guys gave it their all.”
The Bruins had scored 16 goals in 10 games before scoring six Saturday night against the Leafs. They scored just enough Sunday to improve to 16-10-4.
“I thought we had a lot of really good looks tonight,” said Brad Marchand, who scored the first goal. “We easily could have had four or five goals, but their goalie played really well, kept them in it.
Boston’s Jakob Forsbacka Karlsson scored his first NHL goal in the Bruins’ win in the desert.