Tuukka Rask stops 24 shots, Bruins blank Coyotes 6-0
BOSTON (AP) The big offensive night was nice. The shutout made the Boston Bruins feel a lot better.
Tuukka Rask made 24 saves for his first shutout, David Krejci scored twice and the Bruins beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-0 Tuesday night for their first home win of the season.
The last time the Bruins were at home they blew a two-goal lead in the third period before losing to Philadelphia in overtime, 5-4 last Wednesday night. In this game, they felt like they returned to their strength – tight defense.
”Our thinking is defense first. We take a lot of pride in our battles,” Bruins captain Zdeno Chara said. ”Play it simple and play to our strength. Our goals are up from previous years. We’re still working on our goals-against improvements. We’re getting better goaltending lately. It’s a reflection of being better than we started.”
Rask was barely tested in posting his 27th career shutout. He gave up 19 goals in Boston’s first four home games.
”Keeping the goals-against down is always the goal,” Rask said. ”We looked really tight defensively. I thought overall it was a good tight effort.”
Jimmy Hayes, Joe Morrow, Brett Connolly and Brad Marchand also scored for Boston, which started 0-3-1 at home. Hayes, Loui Eriksson and Matt Beleskey each had two assists.
Mike Smith stopped 21 shots for the Coyotes, who played their fifth road game in eight days, finishing their trip at 2-2-1. They won at Toronto on Monday.
”It’s not ideal to come play on back-to-back games like that, but that’s not really an excuse,” Arizona defenseman Zbynek Michalek said. ”We could have played better than that. Just the execution wasn’t there for whatever reason. I don’t know if you’re tired or maybe it was a long trip for us.”
Arizona, playing its fifth game in eight days, seemed slow getting to the puck most of the game.
”Coming up, we have only one game in eight, nine days so we get some rest, we get some practice time,” Michalek said.
The Bruins also beat the Coyotes earlier this month, 5-3 in Arizona on Oct. 17.
The Bruins jumped ahead 1-0 late in the first period when Krejci came into the zone on the left wing during a 2-on-1 break and faked a backhand pass before slipping a forehand shot past Smith.
Krejci has a point in each of the first eight games. He also scored Boston’s final goal in the last minute of the game.
”It’s really nice when the puck goes into the net, but it’s nice we’ve won four of the last five games,” he said.
They made it 2-0 early in the second. Beleskey fired a shot and Hayes banged home the rebound from the edge of the crease.
Morrow took a pass from Beleskey, spilt a pair of Coyotes’ players at the blue line and unloaded a rising wrist shot that went over the left shoulder of Smith, making it 3-0 with 2:31 left in the second.
Connelly took a drop pass from Marchand and fired a wrister between Smith’s pads midway into the third. Marchand added a power-play goal.
NOTES: Krejci’s streak is the longest since Joe Juneau and Dmitri Kvartalnov did it in 14 in a row in 1992-93. … LW Beleskey was back in the lineup after missing the last two games with an upper body injury. … Arizona C Martin Hanzal, who had a league-leading 10 assists entering Tuesday, missed the game after sustaining a lower body injury in Monday’s win at Toronto. … Krejci’s next assist will be his 300th. … Boston sent LW Max Talbot to Providence of the AHL. … Boston plays at Florida on Friday. The Coyotes open a three-game homestand Friday against Vancouver.