Coyotes Top Bruins 5-2 in Season Opener

The Bruins fell to the Phoenix Coyotes 5-2 in the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere in Prague, Czech Republic.

Radim Vrbata put the Coyotes up 1-0 in the first period, scoring off a rather bizarre rebound off the back wall that saw Tuukka Rask out of position.  In the second period, it snowballed, as the Coyotes got three more past Tuukka Rask.  Taylor Pyatt, Scottie Upshall and Eric Belanger (power play) all found the back of the net.  The Upshall goal was a particularly rough one for the Bruins to swallow, as poor stickhandling led to a breakaway where Upshall ripped it past Rask. 

In the third, the Bruins found new life, as Nathan Horton got his first, and second, goals as a Boston Bruin, but it was too little, too late.  The first Horton goal was a thing of beauty, as Horton snapped a laser past Ilya Bryzgalov.  The second came on the power play, with the Bruins forechecking aggressively, and the Phoenix penalty killers at the end of a long shift, as he put it over Bryzgalov's glove, off the post and in. Vrbata added an empty netter for the final margin.

Rask stopped 32 of 36 shots faced, and Bryzgalov outshined him with 40 out of 42.  Vrbata was the game's first star, with 2 goals and an assist.  Horton was the second star and Bryzgalov the third.

These two teams will go at it again bright and early Sunday morning: 10 am from the O2 Arena in Prague, and the game will be on NESN.

Notes
  • Tyler Seguin had a decent debut as a pro, with 4 shots on goal, though he was a -2, like many other B's.
  • Matt Hunwick had a game so bad that I'm coming up short of adjectives to describe it.  He was badly out of position on the first goal, had awful stickhandling that nearly led to a breakaway, and finished with a -3. 
  • Stickhandling was a problem for the Bruins throughout, as Phoenix was able to use their speed and quickness to force mistakes repeatedly in the first two periods.  It improved greatly in the third.
  • Greg Campbell dropped the gloves with Vernon Fiddler, and redeemed himself somewhat for getting whipped by Matt Hendricks a week and a half ago.  Campbell landed a few solid shots and got the takedown. 
  • Generally speaking, the Bruins did a good job of getting shots on net, but got very few deflections in front and just didn't do a great job of getting traffic in front of Bryzgalov, despite being the bigger, more physical team. 
  • The fourth line of Marchand, Campbell and Thornton did a decent job, with all three guys finishing even on the day.  Marchand put four shots on goal.  Campbell's slashing penalty at 10:11 of the third, however, killed the Bruins' nascent momentum. 
  • Jordan Caron was among the scratches for this one, which was something of a surprise considering he had been working with the scoring lines.  Not sure what the reasoning was there, since the 2009 first round pick needs all the game time he can get, be it in Boston or Providence.
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