Boston concludes back-to-back in Phoenix
Saturday, 10.17.2009 / 6:00 PM
BRUINS (3-3-0) at COYOTES (4-2-0)
Season series --
These teams play for the only time in the 2009-10 season. Phoenix squeaked out a 2-1 win at TD Garden in Boston last March 5, with Scottie Upshall scoring a power-play goal one day after being acquired from Philadelphia at the trade deadline and Ilya Bryzgalov stopping 25 shots. Chuck Kobasew scored for the Bruins.
Big Story --
The Bruins, coming off perhaps their most complete effort of the season, play their second game in a back-to-back set. They've still got a long ways to go in order to re-establish themselves as the elite team in the Eastern Conference. The Coyotes, on the other hand, are one of several positive surprises in the Western Conference through the first half-dozen games of the season.
A 2-3-0 record was not at all what Boston had in mind when it started the season playing its first five games at home. And it easily could have been 1-4-0 given the Bruins trailed the Islanders 3-0 in the third period of one game before rallying for a 4-3 shootout victory. They seemed to respond Friday in Dallas, getting a pair of goals from Marc Savard
and 27 saves out of Tim Thomas
in blanking the Stars, 3-0, and look to continue the momentum in Phoenix.
Rebounding from the disappointment of being shut out by Columbus in its home opener, Phoenix broke a scoreless stalemate against San Jose via the shootout and then worked a little overtime to edge St. Louis on Ed Jovanovski's goal. This will be the Coyotes' third home game of the season and marks the second straight Saturday night they'll be in action at Jobing.com Arena.
Who's Hot --
After going scoreless in the season opener, Savard now has a team-leading seven points in his past five games. Bryzgalov already has two shutouts in his five starts this season -- overall, he sports a 4-1-0 record to go with a miniscule 1.17 goals-against average and .952 save percentage.
Injury Report --
Boston defenseman Dennis Wideman has missed time with a shoulder injury. Phoenix defenseman Kurt Sauer
(head) is listed as day-to-day.
Stat Pack -- Lauri Korpikoski
might have seemed a strange choice for coach Dave Tippett to use in the shootout against San Jose until he scored the deciding goal -- his stats for the season show no points, just one shot on goal and an average 9:15 of ice time in five games.
Puck Drop --
"I think that sometimes when you have success, you forget how hard it is to get success," veteran Boston forward Mark Recchi said after a loss to Colorado on Monday. "It's hard work to get to the top and it takes a lot of courage to get to the top. You have to be willing to pay the price."
The Bruins showed that willingness in Dallas on Friday -- whether they can replicate it on the second night of a back-to-back should go a long way in determining the outcome against the Coyotes.
-- Brian Hunter, NHL.com