The Bruins were able to open an early lead and fended off multiple attacks from the visitors before blowing the game wide open late in the second period. Both clubs played hard through the first 40 minutes of action as fans were treated to big hits, flashy goals and big saves.
In the opening minutes of the first period, both clubs came out a little cautious since the teams do not see each other often. The overall pace of the game was slow until the Bruins were able to get on the board first at the 3:06 mark. The goal occurred after a turnover at the Coyotes’ blue line allowed David Pastrnak to pick up the puck and find Colin Miller in the high slot. Miller’s shot beat goaltender Mike Smith five-hole to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
After the goal, the pace of the game increased and the ice started to tilt in the Bruins favor. The home team was able to get a lot of pressure on Coyotes’ defenders and consistently got pucks to the front of the net for quality scoring chances. Smith had to come up with some big saves for the visitors to keep the deficit at one.
The Coyotes started to find their rhythm late in the frame after a great scoring chance from Brendan Perlini. Perlini got the chance after Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask mishandled a dump-in to allow Perlini to scoop the puck up and make a move, but Rask recovered to make a terrific toe save. Despite the save, the scoring opportunity sparked the Coyotes’ offense, as they controlled play for the last five minutes of the period.
With under four minutes remaining, the Coyotes received a power play but were unable to capitalize on the opportunity. At the buzzer, the Bruins were able to hold on to their one-goal advantage as the Coyotes were unable to slip anything past Rask. Both clubs recorded eight shots on goal in the opening frame.
The Coyotes were able to carry their momentum from the closing stages of the first period over to the second and tied the game just 1:43 into the frame after a power-play opportunity. At first, the Coyotes’ power play generated very little offense, but as time wound down, Peter Holland beat Rask on a wraparound for his second tally of the season.
Shortly after the goal, Alexander Burmistrov attempted to handle a breakout pass on the Coyotes’ blue line when Bruins defenseman Colin Miller stepped up and laid a big hit on him. After the hit, Burmistrov required medical attention and was taken off the ice on a stretcher. Miller received a game misconduct and a five-minute charging penalty for the contact. Fortunately, it was reported that Burmistrov was taken to the hospital but will be okay.
Tippett says Burmistrov getting some tests done at the hospital, but looks like he will be OK. Not sure if he'll accompany team to Buffalo.
— Amalie Benjamin (@AmalieBenjamin) March 1, 2017
Once play resumed, the building was quiet as both teams attempted to find their groove after the scary situation. The Garden was brought back to life when Patrice Bergeron stripped the puck from a defender and found Riley Nash all alone in front of the Coyotes’ net before Nash beat Smith to the far side to put the Bruins back on top.
Following the goal, both clubs swapped quality scoring chances, but Rask and Smith were able to make key stops for their team. The Bruins would strike for their third goal of the contest with 1:55 remaining in the period when David Backes blasted a one-timer past Smith for his 13th goal of the season. Then, with just 10 seconds left on the clock, Brad Marchand created a turnover, found himself all alone on Smith and executed a beautiful wraparound move to give the home team a 4-1 advantage heading into the final frame.
The Coyotes elected to start their backup goaltender, Louis Domingue, for the third period after Smith had allowed four goals on 14 shots.
Overall, the third period was uneventful as the Coyotes showed no urgency to score and the Bruins looked content to hang on to their three-goal lead. Contributing to the lack of action in the frame was the Bruins’ decision to play a trap and only send one man into the offensive zone in an effort to not allow the Coyotes any odd-man rushes.
The strategy worked as the visitors could not crack the Bruins’ tight defensive play and were only able to generate a handful of quality shots on goal. With no goals being scored in the period, the Bruins hung on and captured the 4-1 victory over the Coyotes.
BOS – Colin Miller (5) assisted by David Pastrnak (26) and David Krejci (27)
ARI – Peter Holland (2) (PP) assisted by Brendan Perlini (6) and Radim Vrbata (32)
BOS – Riley Nash (4) (SH) assisted by Patrice Bergeron (23)
BOS – David Backes (13) assisted by Brad Marchand (38) and Patrice Bergeron (24)
BOS – Brad Marchand (28) unassisted
THW THREE STARS
First: Brad Marchand (one goal and one assist)
Second: Patrice Bergeron (two assists)
Third: David Backes (one goal)
New York Rangers at Boston Bruins
TD Garden – March 2 at 7:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-NBCSN, TVAS, NESN, MSG, 98.5 The Sports Hub
2016-17 Season Series: Rangers Lead 2-0
Arizona Coyotes at Buffalo Sabres
KeyBank Center – March 2 at 7:00 p.m. E.S.T
Broadcast Channels-MSG-B, FS-A PLUS
2016-17 Season Series: First Meeting of the Season
Anthony Pagliarulo is a Boston Bruins contributor for The Hockey Writers. He is a Massachusetts native and a Worcester State University alumni. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @APags87.