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Game #57 Preview: Arizona at Boston

The Coyotes visit the Bruins this afternoon at TD Garden to open a four-game Eastern road trip

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Preview

GAME #57: ARIZONA (27-22-7) at BOSTON (33-10-12)

1:00 PM MST - TD Garden | Boston, MA

TV: Fox Sports Arizona (Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh)

Radio: Fox Sports 910 AM Phoenix (Bob Heethuis)

Referees: Chris Schlenker #3, Brad Meier #34

Linesmen: David Brisebois #96, Greg Devorski #54

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ARIZONA AT BOSTON

The Coyotes kick-off a four-game road trip today as they take on the Boston Bruins in a matinee affair at TD Garden, marking the second and final meeting between the teams this season.

Today also begins a stretch of five games in eight days for Arizona.

The Coyotes are coming off of a 5-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night, a defeat that snapped their eight-game home point streak. Alex Goligoski matched - and surpassed - his 2018-19 point total and Christian Dvorak set a new single-season career-high in goals scored (16).

Phil Kessel , drafted fifth-overall by the Bruins in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, will pass Andrew Cogliano this afternoon to claim sole possession of sixth-place on the NHL's all-time consecutive games played list, he is slated to play in his 830th-straight game.

The Bruins, who ironically enough lead the NHL in overtime and shootout losses (12), are coming off of a 2-1 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday.

Boston enters the day on a five-game win streak and has earned points in 10 of its last 12 games (9-2-1).

A starting goaltender has not been confirmed, though Antti Raanta is expected to get the nod. Head coach Rick Tocchet will address the media two hours prior to puck drop to provide further lineup details.

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THREE THINGS

ROAD TEST: After touting one of the NHL's best road records through the majority of the first half of the season, the Coyotes have slipped a bit in opposing buildings; they enter the day having lost five straight games as visitors. They currently own a 14-11-3 road record, good for 31 of their 61 standings points. The team's previous road win came on January 7 against the Florida Panthers. The Bruins own the league's best home record, they're 18-2-9 this year at TD Garden.

EASTERN OVERLOAD: Today marks the second of seven consecutive games against Eastern Conference opponents for the Coyotes, who will not face another Western Conference counterpart until February 19. It is also the second of a 12-game stretch without matching up against a Pacific Division opponent, the next intra-division meeting for Arizona will take place on March 4. The Coyotes come into the afternoon with a 10-10-1 record against Eastern opponents this season.

STREAK SNAPPERS: The Coyotes are the only team to have snapped four opponents' win streaks of at least five games this season, ending Washington's six-game run on November 11, St. Louis' seven-game run on November 12, Philadelphia's five-game run on December 5, and St. Louis' eight-game run on December 31. They'll have a chance to pull off the feat for a fifth time this year; Boston enters the day on a five-game win streak that began prior to the All-Star break.

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LAST TIME AROUND

OCTOBER 5, 2019 - ARIZONA (0) vs. BOSTON (1)

These teams previously met more than four months ago in what was the Coyotes' regular season home opener at Gila River Arena on October 5, a 1-0 loss to the Boston Bruins.

Despite firing away for 35 shots, the Coyotes were unable to get a puck past Jaroslav Halak. Brad Marchand scored the game's lone goal, sneaking a puck past Darcy Kuemper short side from the left circle in the late stages of the first period.

Kuemper stopped all but one of the shots the Bruins put on target, finishing the evening with 25 saves.

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NUMBER TO KNOW

TWENTY (20)

Conor Garland continues to pace the Coyotes in goal scoring, netting his team-leading 19th of the season in Thursday's 5-3 loss to the Hurricanes.

The Scituate, Massachusetts native has 10 points (5G, 5A) in the last nine games as he gets set to return to his home city.

Garland's next goal, obviously, will serve as his 20th of the season, and he'll become the Coyotes' first 20-goal scorer since Clayton Keller finished the 2017-18 campaign with 23.

There are currently 43 players in the NHL that have scored 20-plus goals this year.

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QUICK HITS

  • Nick Schmaltz leads the Coyotes in road scoring with 19 points (7G, 12A).
  • David Pastrnak leads the Bruins in scoring with 75 points (38G, 37A).
  • Boston ranks first in the NHL with 2.38 GA/G.
  • Arizona has not beaten Boston since October 9, 2010, a stretch of 15 games.
  • Derek Stepan has 20 points (7G, 13A) in 26 career games against the Bruins.
  • The Bruins are 6-1-1 against Pacific Division opponents this season.
  • The Coyotes are 21-6-1 this season when scoring the first goal of a game.
  • Arizona owns a 21-51-7-1 all-time record against Boston.

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Lead Photo Credit: Brian Babineau - NHLI via Getty Images // Footer Photo Credit: Brian Babineau - NHLI via Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage: Fox Sports Arizona

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