BOSTON BRUINS (43-17-5) VS PHOENIX COYOTES (31-24-11)
9:18 p.m. - Third Period Snapshots: FINAL BOS 2, PHX 1
BRUINS EDGE COYOTES: The Bruins improve their winning streak to seven straight games, edging out the Coyotes in Boston, 2-1. The Bruins received offensive output from Jarome Iginla and Zdeno Chara as Tuukka Rask provides another strong performance in net, surrendering just one goal on 21 shots. The win marks Head Coach Claude Julien's 300th behind the Bruins bench. The Black & Gold are back in action on Saturday as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes in a matinee matchup in Boston. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. ET.
SODERBERG TO THE SIN BIN: At 12:12 into the third period, forward Carl Soderberg was whistled for holding on the Coyotes' Michael Stone, putting the Bruins down a man with the winning streak on the line. The Bruins PK persevered in their fifth shorthanded situation of the evening, with huge stops coming from Tuukka Rask, including a couple scoring chances just outside the crease. Ultimately the Bruins were able to kill off their most important shorthanded situation of the night with their lead still intact.
PHOENIX GETS ON THE BOARD: With 11:46 to go in the third period, the Coyotes cut the lead the Bruins lead to one when Lauri Korpikoski tipped the puck past Rask on the doorstep for his ninth goal of the year.
B'S POSTGAME COVERAGE: Stay tuned for our postgame coverage and follow us on Twitter @NHLBruins for quotes from the B's locker room and Head Coach Claude Julien.
BRUINS ON INSTAGRAM: Follow NHLBruins on Instagram for behind-the-scenes pictures and the best in-game photos: www.instagram.com/nhlbruins.
NEXT GAME: The Bruins are back in action on Saturday as they take on the Carolina Hurricanes in a matinee matchup in Boston. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m. ET.
8:31 p.m. - Second Period Snapshots: BOS 2, PHX 0
BRUINS KILL OFF TWO PENALTIES: With 6:37 to go in the second frame, Carl Soderberg was whistled for hooking sending the Black & Gold PK unit to work. The Bruins once again, had a decisive PK showing, killing off the penalty unscathed. Not long after the penalty to Soderberg expired, Matt Bartkowski was called for boarding for his hit on Phoenix's Jeff Halpern in the corner of the B's zone. Strong through four minutes of penalty time in a short time frame, the Black & Gold kept the Coyotes scoreless during their man-advantage, with the score remaining 2-0 with 2:20 to go in the period. The second kill of the sequence marks the Bruins 15th consecutive kill.
SODERBERG GETS SLASHED: The Bruins went on their first power play of the evening, when Carl Soderberg drew a slashing penalty from Michael Stone. The Bruins managed to keep the puck in the opponents zone for a majority of the penalty but the Phoenix penalty kill came up big for the Coyotes, stymying the Bruins man-advantage as Boston failed to register a shot on net during the two-minute minor.
7:49 p.m. - First Period Snapshots: BOS 2, PHX 0
IGINLA DOUBLES THE LEAD: Forward Jarome Iginla doubled the B's lead at 17:31 into the first period, when he tipped a Johnny Boychuk slapper from the blueline past goaltender Mike Smith for his 21st goal of the season. Boychuk earns the primary assist for his 17th of the year, while Milan Lucic is credited with the secondary assist, picking up his 29th helper of the year. Not lost on the play was Tuukka Rask's incredible save preceding the play, where he scooped up the puck trickling past him just inches from the goal line and flicking it out of the crease.
BRUINS GO ON THE PK: At the 9:43 mark, Jordan Caron was whistled four high-sticking when he inadvertently clipped Phoenix's Jeff Halpern coming across neutral ice, yielding a four-minute double minor. Entering the evening, the Bruins PK ranked 11th in the league (83.2%), going against the Coyotes power play that ranked third in the league (21%). In their first PK showing of the game, the B's were able to diffuse much of the Coyotes momentum, killing off their 179th penalty of the year to perserve their lead.
CAPTAIN ZEE GIVES THE LEAD: B's Captain Zdeno Chara broke open the scoring at the 14:06 mark when he let a wrister fly, with Chris Kelly providing a screen in front. The shot beat Mike Smith blocker-side for an unassisted goal, marking Chara's 16th tally of the season.
MARCHAND CATCHES IRON: The Bruins best scoring chance of the first period came on a Brad Marchand bid with just under 16 minutes to go, that was set up by Patrice Bergeron skating up the right wing. Bergeron fed Marchand streaking down the center of the Coyotes' zone, who then let a wrister go that beat Phoenix goaltunder mike Smith but hit the left post and deflected out.
6:30 p.m. - Pregame: BOS vs. PHX
STARTING GOALTENDERS: Rask (29-14-4, 2.12 GAA, .928 Save %) vs. Smith (24-19-10, 2.69 GAA, .914 Save %). Rask is 1-1-0 with a 2.48 GAA and .914 save % in two career games against Phoenix. Smith is 3-6-0 with a 2.54 GAA and .915 save percentage in nine games against Boston.
BRUINS VS COYOTES LIFETIME: The Bruins and Coyotes will meet for the 68th time (includes totals as Winnipeg Jets) in their franchise histories. The B’s have compiled a 39-20-7-1 record in those matchups and have outscored Phoenix, 251-208. The Black & Gold are 22-6-4-1 in their 33 lifetime meetings against the Coyotes in Boston, with a scoring advantage of 140-101 in those contests. The Bruins are winless in their last four home games against the Coyotes at 0-2-1-1 after winning their previous five straight at home with their last win coming in a 4-2 victory on March 19, 2002.
STAYING POSITIVE: Patrice Bergeron enters into tonight’s game tied for the league lead (Matt Niskanen, Pittsburgh) in plus/minus rating at plus-32. Johnny Boychuk’s plus-29 rating is tied for second in the lead with Chicago’s Brandon Saad, while David Krejci’s plus-27 is tied for fourth with LA’s Anze Kopitar and San Jose’s Brent Burns… As a team, Boston’s plus-64 goals for/goals against differential is second in the league to St. Louis’s plus-65 rating. The B’s have allowed the second fewest goals in the NHL at 144 (Los Angeles, 139).
GET TO THE POINT: The line composed of Jarome Iginla, David Krejci and Milan Lucic has combined for 37 points in their last 12 games with Iginla’s 14 (5-9), Krejci’s 11 (5-6) and Lucic’s 12 (5-7). In their last 16 contests, the trio has racked up 54 combined points… Krejci has seen point-per-game success in six career games against Phoenix, recording one goal and five assists.
BACK-TO-BACK ATTACK: The Black & Gold will conclude their 12th of 17 sets of back-to-back games this season, after last night’s 4-1 win in Montreal. Currently, the B’s are 9-2-1 in game one of back-to-backs and 9-2-0 in the second game of those sets.
MILESTONES APPROACHING: Boston’s next win will be Head Coach Claude Julien’s 300th behind the Bruins bench… Entering tonight, forward Gregory Campbell sits one assist shy of 100 NHL helpers.
STREAKING: Forward Carl Söderberg rides a four-game point streak coming into tonight, registering two goals and three assists during that span.
199 AND COUNTING: Following Thursday’s home game against the Washington Capitals, the Boston Bruins have sold out 199 straight regular season and playoff games. This sellout streak began more than three years ago on December 5, 2009 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The last game the Bruins did not have 17,565 in attendance at the Garden was on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 when they hosted the Tampa Bay Lightning (16,553).
COYOTES NOTEBOOK: Tonight marks the final game of a four-game road trip for the Coyotes, which saw them play the Washington Capitals (3/8, 2-3 loss), Tampa Bay Lightning (3/10, 4-3 win) and Florida Panthers (3/11, 3-1 win)… Boston native Keith Yandle enters tonight, riding a four-game point streak, registering five assists during that span… Shane Doan is expected to play in his 1,300th NHL/Coyotes game tonight, which ranks fourth among all active players… Antoine Vermette leads the league in road faceoff percentage at 57.6%, ahead of Patrice Bergeron at 57.0%.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Bruins power play: 39-for-187 (20.9%, 4th NHL), Bruins penalty kill: 178-for-214 (83.2%, 11th NHL)… Coyotes power play: 48-for-229 (21.0%, 3rd NHL), Coyotes penalty kill: 187-for-235 (79.6%, 27th NHL).