Bruins get a sour taste of some home cooking
PRAGUE (AP) -- Radim Vrbata scored twice and added an assist to lead the Phoenix Coyotes past the Boston Bruins 5-2 in their NHL season-opening game in the Czech capital yesterday.
Phoenix 5, Boston 2
Nathan Horton scored twice for Boston in the third period.
Vrbata, a Czech right winger, pleased the home crowd of about 16,000 in O2 Arena 7:59 into the game, scoring from a rebound off Adrian Aucoin's slap shot. Vrbata hit the puck when it was in the air.
"I was watching the puck and netted with a bit of luck," Vrbata said.
"The plan was to attack from the start. The most important was the first goal, the other things followed."
Phoenix and Boston -- two of six NHL teams to open the season in Europe -- play the second and final game of their series in Prague today.
The Bruins outshot the Coyotes 42-37 but the Coyotes killed three power plays in the first period, including 36 seconds of a two-man advantage, and jumped to a commanding 4-0 lead in the second.
"To sum it up, our team ... made too many unforced errors," Bruins coach Claude Julien said.
"They got the first goal, a lucky bounce, you can live with that. You can get yourselves back into the game. But what we did in the second period were unforced errors ... and they took advantage of it.
"We have to take the responsibility," added Julien, who didn't rule out changes in his lineup Sunday. "Our guys for whatever reason made those mistakes; that's unfortunate because it kind of tarnishes the effort they put into tonight's game."
Bruins captain Zdeno Chara signed a seven-year contract extension yesterday that will keep the Slovak with the Bruins through the 2018-19 season.
"I'm very proud to be a Bruin," he said. "I hope to win the Stanley Cup one day, that's my No. 1 goal."