The Bruins picked up victory number two on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Phil Kessel and the Arizona Coyotes. Jaroslav Halak got the nod between the pipes for the Black and Gold and stonewalled Kessel and the Arizona offense, turning away all 35 shots that he faced. Brad Marchand tallied the lone goal for the Bruins as they move to 2-0 on the season with back-to-back road wins.
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Halak Stands Tall
Perhaps the most underappreciated strength of this Bruins team is its goalie tandem of Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak. It is arguably the best in the league, evident by each goaltender’s first game of the new season. Halak hadn’t played a meaningful game since April 4th of last season when he shutout of the Minnesota Wild. He didn’t miss a beat in his 2019-20 debut as he held off several surges from the Coyotes with several highlight-reel saves. He went 22-11-4 last season with a .922 save percentage and a 2.34 GAA in 37 starts for the Bruins. Expect him to hit that mark again this year. Especially if he continues to play as he did against the Coyotes.
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The Bruins didn’t start nearly as quickly as they did in the opener against Dallas and they sputtered on offense for much of the first two and half periods. Credit the Coyotes for keeping much of the play to the perimeter, however, the Bruins were struggling in transition in all three zones. They were able to sustain some regular pressure in the third, however, this win falls squarely on the shoulders of Halak and the defense. The one positive to take away from it, outside of Marchand’s goal, is that the line of Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak shot the puck, tallying three shots apiece. As a time, the Bruins mustered just 26 shots against Darcy Kuemper.
Krejci Makes his Debut
After sitting out the season opener as he recovered from a lower-body injury, David Krejci dressed for game two and had a pretty solid debut. Particularly defensively. He registered just one shot and was credited with a blocked shot in just under 16 minutes of ice time. The success/failure of the second line is one of the biggest storylines entering this season for the Bruins and Krejci’s availability and production is vital to that success.
The Bruins head to ‘Sin City’ on Tuesday to take on one of the West’s best, the Vegas Golden Knights. It is the third game of four straight on the road to start the year. After Vegas, they will travel to Colorado before returning to Boston for the home opener a week from tonight (Saturday).
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