Coyle scores late as Bruins beat Coyotes again, 3-2
BOSTON (AP) — Charlie Coyle scored with 3:21 left in the third period and the Boston Bruins continued their recent success against Arizona with a 3-2 victory over the Coyotes on Saturday night for their ninth win in 11 games.
The Bruins won their 18th straight against the Coyotes, with the last loss coming on Oct. 9, 2010. The loss snapped Arizona’s season-high, four-game winning streak.
“I knew things have gone well against them,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “For a team out West that you don’t see that often, it’s kind of odd. I don’t know what to make of it, to be honest with you.”
Craig Smith scored twice in the first period for Boston and Jeremy Swayman stopped 27 shots. The Bruins are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games, and Swayman improved 9-0-1 in his last 10 starts.
Coyle came down the slot and beat Karel Vejmelka with a backhander over the right shoulder.
“It’s all I had, I think,” said Coyle of his choice to shoot a backhander. “That’s things you’ve got to work on, a lot of the game is played on your backhand. Sometimes you’re forced there and you’ve got to be able to make plays that way. ... Yeah, there was a little luck there.”
Clayton Keller scored in the final second of the middle period for Arizona and Nick Ritchie scored early in the third as Arizona wiped out a 2-0 deficit. Vejmelka made 37 saves.
Keller unloaded a rising shot from the right circle that sailed into the net inside the far post with six-tenths of a second left in the second, slicing the deficit in half and giving him 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) since Jan. 22.
Ritchie scored off a rebound 2:15 into the third.
“We’ve been playing good hockey, playing winning hockey,” Ritchie said. “Tonight, we just didn’t get on the right side of it.”
Smith had made it 1-0 just 2:33 into the game when he batted an ankle-high rebound of Tomas Nosek’s shot into the net from the left side of the crease. He gave the Bruins a 2-0 edge at 10:49 when he scored off the rebound of his own shot from the slot.
“Sometimes you’re going to have a great look and it’s not going to go in, and other times you get a bounce,” said Smith, who has seven goals in his last five games.
Despite the 2-0 lead, it could have been a lot more. The Bruins were outshot 11-10 in the period, but nearly every one of their chances were high-quality bids that Vejmelka faced. During a stretch midway into the opening period, Vejmelka made splendid stops on each of the forwards on Boston’s power play — Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.
“It was a tie game, and we had a couple of chances to win the game, then they scored,” Ritchie said. “The last couple of seconds we had two good looks, that last one just slid wide.”
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Bruins F Nick Foligno’s next game will be his 1,000th in the NHL, joining his dad, Mike, who played in 1,018, and will make them the second father/son combo in league history to each play 1,000 games. The other is Bobby and Brett Hull.
IRISH HERITAGE NIGHT
The Bruins wore green warmup jerseys, seeing it’s their last home game before St. Patrick’s Day. Also, special green hats were given to the first 5,000 fans.
COMING IN HOT
Coming into the game, the Coyotes had scored 22 goals in their previous three games.
NOTES: Boston captain Bergeron needs two more games to reach 1,200 in his NHL career. … Bruins D Matt Grzelcyk returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games. He was sidelined with an injury on March 7 and with an illness the 10th. … It was the first time since Feb. 8, 2020 that the Coyotes played in TD Garden. …. Boston won the other meeting between the teams this season, 2-1 in Arizona on Jan. 28.
Coyotes: At Ottawa on Monday.
Bruins: At Chicago on Tuesday.
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