For the Boston Bruins this season, it’s been simple: when Tuukka Rask plays, they win. When Rask doesn’t play, they lose.
Rask played Saturday night.
The 2014 Vezina Trophy winner stopped 31 of 32 shots for his ninth win in ten starts as the Bruins defeated the Arizona Coyotes 2-1 on Saturday night.
No goals in the first period, but the Coyotes missed an early power play opportunity as David Backes interfered with Jordan Martinook less than two minutes into the game.
1-0 Boston - The Bruins took advantage of a Ryan Spooner screen, as Zdeno Chara’s point shot deflected off of Spooner and past Louis Domingue. Assists to Chara and David Krejci on the goal at 7:54.
2-0 Boston - Less than two minutes later, David Pastrnak would join the double-digit goal club with his tenth of the season, as Patrice Bergeron and Oliver Ekman-Larsson clashed in front of Domingue. Pastrnak’s shot eluded Domingue, who couldn’t see the shot coming with the bodies in front of him. Assists to Brad Marchand and Torey Krug on the goal at 9:44.
2-1 Boston - Arizona would get a much needed power play goal off the stick of Radim Vrbata. Vrbata played a game of keep away at the top of the umbrella with Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Anthony DeAngelo. Vrbata’s one-timer would ring off the post and trickle over the line before Rask could turn around to stop it. Assists to DeAngelo and Ekman-Larsson on the power play goal at 12:05.f
- Can the Coyotes play mistake-free hockey? - Arizona was never shorthanded on the night, and Brad Richardson took the team’s only penalty by fighting with Brandon Carlo in the third period. That’s not easy to do, especially against a team like the Bruins.
- Will Shane Doan get going? - No points, three shots, and two blocked shots in 17:22 worth of ice time for Shane Doan. Arizona has really missed having Doan bashing bodies around on top of the crease.
- Will Max Domi keep going? - Hard to get on the score-sheet when the Coyotes only score one goal.
Players of the Game
Boston - Tuukka Rask - Rask came within eight minutes of a shutout tonight. He was absolutely excellent for the Bruins.
Arizona - Louis Domingue - Domingue stopped 27 of 29 shots for the Coyotes tonight. He was not the reason the Coyotes lost this game.
- For more on the Boston Bruins, check out Stanley Cup of Chowder
- Michael Stone made his return tonight, playing 20:59. Luke Schenn took a seat instead.
- Apart from being Arizona’s lone goal scorer, Radim Vrbata also took a game high six shots.
- Per Hockey Stats, the Boston Bruins had 16 shot attempts in the low slot below the face-off dots. The Coyotes had seven.
- Pastrnak’s goal puts him into a three way tie for second place in the NHL in goals scored, behind Patrik Laine.
Arizona is off until Wednesday, when they travel to Alberta to play the struggling Calgary Flames. Puck drop is at 8 PM Arizona time.