Halak Steals One, Bruins Beat Coyotes 1-0: Postgame Analysis
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Halak Steals One, Bruins Beat Coyotes 1-0: Postgame Analysis

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boston bruins brad marchand

It wasn’t pretty but the Boston Bruins (2-0-0) escaped the desert with a 1-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes. For the second consecutive game, the Bruins received another spectacular goaltending performance. This time it was backup goalie Jaroslav Halak who shut the door.

Halak stopped all 35 Coyotes shots including clutch saves throughout the game. Brad Marchand scored in the final two minutes of the first period and that was all the Bruins needed.

The third game of the Bruins four-game road trip will be in Las Vegas. The Vegas Golden Knights are also 2-0-0.

Rask-Halak Best Tandem In NHL?

If there was any doubt that the Boston Bruins have one of, if not the best goaltending tandems in the NHL with Tuukka Rask and Halak, through two games, the two Bruins netminders have put the league on notice that no matter who is between the pipes, opponents will need to bring their A-game, and even then that may not be enough. After Rask made 28 saves in the 2-1 win over the Dallas Stars in the season opener Thursday, Halak was even better against the Coyotes Thursday and he had to be. While the Stars threw everything but the kitchen sink at Rask in the third period Thursday, the Coyotes had quality scoring chances on Halak throughout the game Saturday night.

Halak stopped Coyotes forward Vinnie Hinostroza on a breakaway at 11:41 into the first period; robbed forward Clayton Keller on the doorstep 8:32 into the second period; stoned forward Michael Grabner on a shorthanded breakaway at 18:32 of the middle frame; stopped former Bruin Carl Soderberg point-blank at 7:10 of the third, and then stopped another former Bruin in Coyotes sniper Phil Kessel, three times in the final ten minutes of regulation to preserve the win and the shutout. 

Perfection Line Not Perfect But Better

Following the Bruins’ 2-1 win at Dallas Thursday, there was plenty of concern amongst fans and media alike that there was something wrong with the Bruins’ top line, who thanks to a dominant performance last season, became known as the ‘Perfection Line’. While they weren’t perfect Saturday against the Coyotes, Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak created more chances and converted one with Marchand’s goal late in the first. All three players got three shots off on net, but it was the hard work that led to those scoring chances that showed hope that in due time, this line will be clicking on all cylinders again.

Pastrnak may not be in sync yet but his hard work that got the puck to Bergeron, who then set up Marchand for the goal, was crucial to the goal. He also drove hard to the net, keeping the defensemen from getting to Marchand.

Krejci Plays, Backes Sits

After missing the season opener with a lower-body injury, center David Krejci made his season debut Saturday, centering the team’s second line between wingers Jake DeBrusk and Karson Kuhlman. Krejci played 15:57 and had one shot on goal.

With Krejci returning, forward David Backes was the odd man out. Here’s what the lineup looked like Saturday:

Marchand-Bergeron-Pastrnak

DeBrusk-Krejci-Kuhlman

Heinen-Coyle-Ritchie

Kuraly-Lindholm-Wagner

Chara-McAvoy

Krug-Carlo

Grzelcyk-Clifton

Halak

With over 18 years of experience (SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, ESPNBoston, NESN, NHL.com, etc.) covering the Bruins, the NHL, NCAA and junior hockey and more, Jimmy Murphy’s hockey black book is full of Hall of Famers, current players, coaches, management, scouts and a wide array of hockey media personalities that have lived in and around this great game. For 15 of his 18 years as a hockey and sports reporter, Murph covered the Bruins on essentially a daily basis covering their victorious 2011 Stanley Cup run and their 2013 run to the Final as well. Murphy has hosted national and local radio shows and podcasts and also has experience in TV as well.

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