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Need to Know: Bruins at Coyotes

Boston hoping to carry over balanced attack

by Eric Russo @NHLBruins /

BOSTON - Fresh off a definitive 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets at TD Garden Thursday night, the Bruins (8-6-0) are back on the road for a tilt with the Arizona Coyotes (5-8-0) on Saturday at Gila River Arena.

It is the start of a long three-game road trip (the Bruins also hit Colorado and Minnesota) that will span the next seven days.

Puck drop is set for 8 p.m. EST on NESN and 98.5 The Sports Hub.

Here is what you need to know:

What to Watch For

Much time has been spent talking about the Bruins' lack of secondary scoring through the season's first month. Boston has relied heavily on its first line of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak, which through 14 games has produced a combined 16 goals.

The fourth line - not known for its scoring prowess - has also performed well by chipping in with some timely production.

The Bruins' other two lines are a different story. Offense has been hard to come by, with just seven combined goals entering Thursday night's game with Columbus.

Things, however, have been shifting in recent days. The win against Columbus was evidence of that, as the Bruins received goals from three of their four lines - with Bergeron's line the lone trio left off the scoresheet.

David Backes, Matt Beleskey, Austin Czarnik, and Tim Schaller all found the back of the net and the Bruins hope that production continues.

Video: CBJ@BOS: Backes lights the lamp off feed from Krejci

"I think we had it the other night in Montreal as well," Bruins coach Claude Julien said of the balanced attack. "I think it's coming around. You've got some of those lines - David Krejci with David Backes back…[Krejci is finding his stride as well. They have been a better line obviously.

"Ryan [Spooner] was good [Thursday], [Riley Nash] with [Austin] Czarnik and Matty Beleskey. Matty is playing better than he did at the beginning so that has helped that line. Czarny with his speed and skill, it's been a good blend there.  

"And our fourth line continues to just do their job, so it's nice to have that balance, no doubt, so that you're not just relying on one or two lines to score some goals for you."

Opposing View

Arizona has accumulated 10 points through 13 games, tied for the lowest total in the NHL with Colorado and Carolina. They are 3-2-0 on home ice and are sitting in last place in the Pacific Division.

The Coyotes are allowing 3.62 goals a game, the second-highest mark in the league.

Video: Bruins arrive in Arizona to start 3-game road trip

Jamie McGinn has notched a point in six of his eight games this season (3-3-6) and is in the midst of a three-game point streak. Max Domi leads the team with 10 assists (eighth in the NHL) and 11 points, while Oliver Ekman-Larsson is tied for the league lead in goals with five.

Shane Doan is three goals away from reaching 400 for his career. He would be the eighth active player and 92nd all-time to hit that mark.

Wait, There's More

  • Forward Sean Kuraly was recalled from Providence on Friday morning and joined the team for the road trip. Another body was needed after an injury to Noel Acciari, who is expected to be out for roughly four weeks with a lower-body injury. Kuraly was recalled on an emergency basis last week and made his NHL debut in the Bruins' 4-3 win over Tampa Bay on Nov. 4.
  • Anton Khudobin, who has missed nearly a month with an upper-body injury, is traveling with the team.
  • The Bruins won both matchups between the teams last season, by a combined score of 11-3. Boston leads the all-time series 45-20-7-1.
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