The Boston Bruins defeated the Arizona Coyotes, 3-2, last night at the TD Garden on the heels of a late, third-period tally to cap off a three-goal night from their third line.
Charlie Coyle netted the game-winner on a backhander with just over three minutes remaining in the third period on an overall effort from his line through all zones.
Coyle, Craig Smith and Trent Frederic had a role in each goal in some capacity. They used the boards to their advantage, were strong off the rush and “didn’t overthink,” Bruce Cassidy said.
“They’re playing to the identity of how they would need to play to score on a regular basis,” Cassidy said of the third line.
After a handful of offensive chances by Arizona to start the game and a smart backchecking play by Brandon Carlo, it was an onslaught of Bruins’ offense for the next 18 minutes, led by Smith’s opening goal 2:33 into the first period. 1-0 B’s.
The Bruins looked the best in the first period. The third line’s chemistry was clicking from blue line to blue line. As the line continued to find shooting lanes and crash the net, Smith put the Bruins up 2-0 halfway through the frame on his second shot - and second goal.
The B’s continued to have a net-front presence and viable opportunities on the power play, but didn’t have enough finish on the plays - a theme which carried over for the remainder of the game.
The Coyotes gained steam to put the Bruins on the defensive for most of the second period. Arizona kept lengthy offensive-zone possessions that the B’s couldn’t break up.
As the Coyotes pressed, Jeremy Swayman shut down Nick Schmaltz on good looks from the forward and made important saves on the Bruins’ penalty kill.
But the Bruins didn’t have much o-zone coverage and when they did, chances weren’t followed up.
Arizona moved the puck sounder in the final minutes of the second, and Clayton Keller beat the buzzer with 0.06 seconds on the clock to close in on the Bruins’ lead. 2-1 game.
After a strong shift where Brad Marchand would have beat Karel Vejmelka had it not been for J.J. Moser’s stick, some end-to-end play found Nick Ritchie potting the equalizer on a second effort two minutes into the third period. 2-2 tie.
As the period progressed, the Bruins had little bursts of energy where they could have easily been up by a handful of goals if the second effort was there.
With the game winding down, Frederic won a defensive board battle. Coyle retrieved the loose puck and carried it up ice on a 2-on-1 with Smith before releasing a backhander over Vejmelka for the go-ahead and winning tally. Final score: 3-2 Bruins.
Another late goal, but make that two games in a row that it swayed the Bruins’ way.
The Bruins will now hit the road for a four-game trip. Up first: Another match with the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday March 15 at 8:30 pm.
Here’s a look at the goals by period!
The Bruins opened the scoring at 2:33 of the first period.
Tomas Nosek threw a wrist shot on net from the slot. At the back door, Smith found the rebound where he beat Vejmelka’s glove with a quick shot. 1-0 Bruins.
12 is buzzing. pic.twitter.com/kOAnzaTEUs— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 13, 2022
The Bruins extended their lead with Smith’s second goal of the night at 10:49 of the first period.
Along the boards, Coyle found Smith at the top of the left-wing circle. Smith skated into the slot and fired a wrist shot past Vejmelka’s stick. 2-0 Bruins.
SEVEN goals in five games for Smitty. pic.twitter.com/TbMzFN2UVg— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 13, 2022
The Coyotes cut their deficit in half at 19:59 of the second period – with just 0.06 seconds on the clock.
Dysin Mayo found Keller inside the right-wing circle to beat the buzzer with a one-timer top-shelf over Swayman. 2-1 game.
Right at the buzzer pic.twitter.com/t8CbRWvJQl— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) March 13, 2022
The Coyotes tied the game at 2:15 of the third period.
In the slot, Ritchie found the rebound from Barrett Hayton’s one-timer to put a quick shot past Swayman’s blocker. 2-2 game.
Nick Ritchie? More like Nick CLUTCHie pic.twitter.com/p3PAlEULTm— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) March 13, 2022
Coyle netted the go-ahead goal and game-winner for the Bruins at 16:39 of the third period.
Frederic won a puck battle along the boards in the defensive zone to poke the puck loose to Coyle breaking out of the zone. On a 2-on-1 with Smith entering the offensive zone, Coyle lifted a backhander over Vejmelka’s glove. Final score: 3-2 Bruins.
WOOOOOOOO@CharlieCoyle_3 | #BehindTheB pic.twitter.com/PV3uaUOcD7— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) March 13, 2022