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Posted
Updated October 15
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Bruins glide past winless Coyotes, 6-2

Trip to the desert gets Boston back on track

A trip to the desert, where they always seem to play well, turned out to be just what the Bruins needed to get back to their game.

Better in their own end and sharp with the puck, the Bruins stretched their winning streak in Arizona to seven straight with a 6-2 victory over the still-winless Coyotes on Saturday night.

Zdeno Chara had a goal and two assists, Anton Khudobin stopped 29 shots and the Bruins answered both Arizona goals in less than a minute to beat the Coyotes for the 11th straight time overall.

“It’s funny, you have a good strong shift, another line has a good strong shift after that and it feels like it’s snowballing,” Chara said. “You start rolling and feeling like you’re taking control of the game.”

Boston fell behind late in the first period, quickly erased that deficit, then raced away from the Coyotes with three second-period goals to emphatically bounce back from the two Colorado losses.

David Pastrnak scored in the first period for the Bruins, then Chara, Jake DeBrusk and Brad Marchand in the second. Tim Schaller and Anders Bjork each scored late in the third period after Arizona cut the lead to 4-2.

“Tonight was ‘let’s be stingy’ and the last two games we have not been of that mindset,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We got going late in the first and in the second we really did a good job of winning pucks and starting our transition game.”

Arizona had numerous defensive miscues, gave up multiple breakaways and got another shaky game from backup goalie Louis Domingue to remain the Western Conference’s only winless team (0-4-1).

Mario Kempe scored his first career NHL goal and Oliver Ekman-Larsson had his 41st career power-play goal, most ever by a Coyotes defenseman, but it was the breakdowns that left the Coyotes frustrated.

The Bruins and Coyotes got the season off to slow starts thanks to shaky defense.

 Boston won its opener 4-3, but allowed 10 combined goals in consecutive losses to Colorado. Tuukka Rask started all three games, though was replaced Khudobin in third period of Thursday’s 6-3 loss in Denver.

Arizona has struggled as top goalie Antti Raanta has battled injuries.

Domingue has labored with Raanta out, entering Saturday’s game with a 3.99 goals-against average after allowing a pair of soft goals (three overall) against the Red Wings on Thursday.

Both teams were good inside their blue lines early until Kempe deflected a shot by Anthony Duclair past Khudobin’s stick side on a delayed penalty.

Arizona’s lead lasted 36 seconds, erased after a shot by Chara caromed off Pastrnak’s body past Domingue.

A third deflection goal early in the second period put Boston on top, this one on a power play by DeBrusk on a shot by David Krejci. Chara later punched in his own rebound after Domingue made a difficult save and Marchand gave Boston a three-goal lead after an Arizona mistake set up a breakaway.

Ekman-Larsson scored late in the third period, surpassing Fredrik Olausson’s franchise record of 40 power-play goals by a defenseman. Schaller scored 23 seconds later and Bjork scored on a power play for his first NHL goal to put it out of reach.

“It feels like we’re making too many mistakes, we don’t play smart enough and that’s why we’re losing games right now,” Ekman-Larsson said.

Notes: Boston top center Patrice Bergeron started skating, but sat out for the fourth straight game as he recovers from offseason sports hernia surgery. … Arizona LW Brendan Perlini missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. … Arizona’s Derek Stepan has an assist in three straight games.

UP NEXT

The Bruins close out a three-game road trip against Vegas on Sunday.

The Coyotes play the first of consecutive games against the Stars in Dallas on Tuesday.

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