The Boston Bruins (24-13-3, 51 pts) will try to bounce back from their 4-3 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche Wednesday when they continue their three-game road trip against the Arizona Coyotes Friday night (9 PM ET, NESN, BSAZ+).
The last time the Coyotes beat the Boston Bruins the game took place in another continent. The Bruins lost 5-2 to the Yotes in the 2010-11 season opener in Prague, Czechia on October 9, 2010, and enter tonight with a 16-game winning streak against the Coyotes. That was arguably the game in which current Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask lost the starter’s net to former Bruins netminder Tim Thomas. Thomas played the next day and made 29 saves in a 3-0 shutout. He would go on to win the Vezina Trophy that season and then the 2011 Conn Smythe Trophy after leading the Boston Bruins to their first Stanley Cup since 1972. So maybe a loss tonight wouldn’t be a bad omen for the 2021-22 Bruins?
All kidding aside, after blowing a 3-1 lead to the Avalanche on Wednesday, the Boston Bruins will be looking to redeem themselves and get back on the winning track tonight. In order to do so, the Bruins know they will need to not take the worst team in the Western Conference lightly.
“We’re not in any position to take anyone lightly,” winger Taylor Hall said. “We need points just as much as anyone. I’ve been on struggling teams and sometimes you never know what you can expect. All of a sudden, they get some momentum, they put a few shifts together in the first period and it can be a very tough night for us. Or we can play well right off the bat, enforce our will on the game roll our lines over, and hopefully, eventually take over the game.
It’s up to us. Last game, there were two points that we should’ve had, and we only came away with one. I don’t think we’re in a position to take anyone lightly. We’ve got to find our game. We haven’t won in two games, so we’ve got to get back on track here.”
With the threat of the Boston Bruins doing the opposite of what Hall said they need to do tonight, there is not a lot of value in taking the B’s on the money line (-290) and the puck line (-115). However, based on Hall’s comments and the team’s desire to put the blown game in Colorado behind them, the Boston Bruins will likely come out flying in the first period.
That’s why our BetUs play for the game here is the Boston Bruins to win the first period (regulation) at even money. It may not be a bad idea to sprinkle a little on Taylor Hall over 2.5 shots in the game.
Prediction: Bruins 4 Coyotes 1
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Boston Bruins Notes
-Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark will get the start for the second-straight game. Despite the loss Wednesday, Ullmark was still brilliant between the pipes. The Swedish netminder stopped 37 of the 41 shots the Avs unloaded on him. Ullmark is now 14-5-1 with a 2.61 GAA and .914 save percentage.
-Boston Bruins defenseman Matt Grzelcyk is a game-time decision after missing the last two games with an upper-body injury suffered last Saturday in the 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.
-Forward Nick Foligno (lower-body) will also be out for this game and the next two. Boston Bruins defenseman John Moore is still day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Forward Trent Frederic (upper-body) is also out and there is no timetable for his return. Defenseman Jakub Zboril is out for the season after successful surgery for a torn ACL last month.
-This is the first time the Boston Bruins have played the Coyotes since Feb. 8, 2020 (4-2 W) and their first game at Gila River Arena since Oct. 5, 2019 (1-0 W).
Arizona Coyotes Notes
-Former Bruins winger Phil Kessel Kessel, leads current Coyotes players in career goals (12) and assists (16) against his former team. He enters Friday with 10 points (6-4-10) in his last 10 games against the B’s.
-Another former Boston Bruins winger and current Yotes winger, Loui Eriksson, has 10 points (6-4-10) in 10 career games overall against the Bruins. He has five points (3-2-5) over his last three games against the B’s while with the Canucks, including a three-point performance (2-1-3).
-Coyotes goalie Scott Wedgewood (4-10-3, 3.37 GAA, .893 save-percentage) gets the nod between the pipes tonight.
-The Coyotes just shocked the NHL world when they committed to play in a 5,000-seat arena for three seasons (starting in 2022-23) until and if they get a new arena. Meanwhile, the Videotron Centre, a 20,000-seat, state-of-the-art arena in Quebec City continues to wait for an NHL tenant.
Boston Bruins Lines
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Craig Smith
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Jake DeBrusk – Charlie Coyle – Oskar Steen
Anton Blidh – Tomas Nosek – Curtis Lazar
Urho Vaakanainen – Charlie McAvoy
Mike Reilly/Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton
Arizona Coyotes Lines:
Lawson Crouse – Johann Larsson – Phil Kessel
Clayton Keller – Travis Boyd – Nick Schmaltz
Andrew Ladd – Riley Nash – Christian Fischer
Antoine Roussel – Ryan Dzingel – Louis Eriksson
Kyle Capobianco – Shayne Gostisbehere
Janis Moser – Anton Strallman
Jacob Chychrun – Ilya Lyubushkin