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Bruins at Coyotes preview

Kessel making home debut for Arizona, which has lost 14 straight to Boston

by Alan Robinson / Independent Correspondent

BRUINS (1-0-0) at COYOTES (0-1-0)

9 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-A, FS-A Plus, NESN, NHL.TV


The Game

Phil Kessel will make his home debut for the Arizona Coyotes against the Boston Bruins at Gila River Arena on Saturday.

The forward, traded to Arizona by the Pittsburgh Penguins on June 29, had an assist in his first game with the Coyotes, a 2-1 loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. 

The Bruins will try to extend the longest current winning streak (14) against an opponent in the NHL. They haven't lost to the Coyotes since Oct. 9, 2010.

Boston opened its season with a 2-1 win at the Dallas Stars on Thursday. Jaroslav Halak will start after Tuukka Rask made 28 saves in the win.


Players to watch

Bruins forward Brad Marchand has 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) and is plus-21 in 38 games against Arizona.

Coyotes forward Derek Stepan had a goal against Anaheim and has 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 26 games against Boston.


They said it

"Our guys are OK. Down a goal, up a goal, in an important game, we know how to take care of details and play the right way," -- Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy on starting the season with a one-goal win

"They've got high-end nucleus guys -- Marchand, obviously [Patrice] Bergeron, [David] Pastrnak, [Zdeno] Chara's been there for years, culture guys. They play consistently, the right way most of the time. That's why it's important we can't have turnovers, we can't play a loose game. We have to play our game." -- Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet


Bruins projected lineup

Brad Marchand -- Patrice Bergeron -- David Pastrnak

Jake DeBrusk -- David Krejci -- Karson Kuhlman

Danton Heinen -- Charlie Coyle -- Brett Ritchie

Par Lindholm -- Sean Kuraly -- David Backes

Zdeno Chara -- Charlie McAvoy

Torey Krug -- Brandon Carlo 

Matt Grzelcyk -- Connor Clifton

Jaroslav Halak

Tuukka Rask

Scratched: Steven Kampfer

Injured: Joakim Nordstrom (undisclosed), David Krejci (undisclosed)


Coyotes projected lineup

Clayton Keller -- Derek Stepan -- Phil Kessel

Carl Soderberg -- Nick Schmaltz -- Conor Garland

Michael Grabner -- Brad Richardson -- Vinnie Hinostroza

Lawson Crouse -- Christian Dvorak -- Christian Fischer

Oliver Ekman-Larsson -- Jason Demers

Alex Goligoski -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Jakob Chychrun -- Jordan Oesterle

Darcy Kuemper

Antti Raanta

Scratched:  Barrett Hayton, Kyle Capobianco

Injured: None


Status report

Krejci (lower body) will be a game-time decision, according to Cassidy. … Raanta was recalled Saturday after completing a conditioning assignment with Tucson of the American Hockey League.


Stat pack

Halak is 9-3-2 with a 2.00 goals-against average, a .931 save percentage and one shutout against the Coyotes. … Kessel has 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) and is minus-27 in 42 games against Boston. He would tie Craig Ramsay (776 games) on the NHL's all-time consecutive games played list. … Goligoski will play in his 800th NHL game.

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