BOSTON (AP) — Charlie Coyle scored with 3:21 left in the third period and the Boston Bruins followed up their recent win over Arizona with a 3-2 victory over the Coyotes on Saturday night for their ninth victory in 11 matches.
The Bruins won their 18th straight against the Coyotes, with the last loss coming on October 9, 2010. The loss ended Arizona’s season-high four-game winning streak.
“I knew things went well against them,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “For a western team that you don’t see often, it’s a bit strange. I don’t know what to think about it, to be honest with you.
Craig Smith scored two first-period goals for Boston and Jeremy Swayman stopped 27 shots. The Bruins are 9-1-1 in their last 11 games and Swayman improved to 9-0-1 in his last 10 starts.
Coyle came down in the lunge and beat Karel Vejmelka with a backhand over the right shoulder.
“That’s all I had, I think,” Coyle said of his choice to shoot a backhand. “These are things you have to work on, a big part of the game is on your backhand. Sometimes you’re forced into it and you have to be able to make games that way. … Yeah, there was a bit of luck there.
Clayton Keller scored in the final second of the middle frame for Arizona and Nick Ritchie scored early in the third as Arizona erased a 2-0 deficit. Vejmelka made 37 saves.
Keller unloaded a rising shot from the right circle that sailed into the net inside the far post with six-tenths of a second left in the second, cutting the deficit in half and giving him 26 points (11 goals, 15 assists) since January 1. 22.
Ritchie scored a rebound 2:15 into the third.
“We play good hockey, we play winning hockey,” Ritchie said. “Tonight we just didn’t get on the right side.”
Smith had made it 1-0 just 2:33 into the game when he netted an ankle-high rebound from Tomas Nosek’s shot into the net from the left side of the crease. He gave the Bruins a 2-0 advantage at 10:49 when he scored on the rebound of his own shot from the slot.
“Sometimes you’re going to look good and it’s not going to go in, and other times you’re going to get a rebound,” said Smith, who has scored seven goals in his last five games.
Despite the 2-0 lead, it could have been a lot more. The Bruins were outshot 11-10 during the period, but nearly all of their chances were high-quality offers that Vejmelka faced. During a streak midway through the first period, Vejmelka made splendid saves on each of Boston’s power play forwards – Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.
“It was a draw, and we had a few chances to win the game, and then they scored,” Ritchie said. “The last two seconds we had two good looks, the last one just slipped wide.”
Going into the game, the Coyotes had scored 22 goals in their previous three games.
– It was the first time since February 8, 2020 that the Coyotes played at TD Garden.
–Boston won the teams’ other meeting this season, 2-1 at Arizona on Jan. 28.
The Coyotes travel to Ottawa to face the Senators on Monday at 3:30 p.m. ESPN 620 AM or 98.7FM HD-2.