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Sunday, December 7, 2014

B's Salvage Something From A Miserable Week In The West By Beating Up On The Pitiful Coyotes

It was a rough week for the Bruins and their fans as they were humiliated three late night games in a row in California. Luckily, Boston (15-12-1) sucked up their collective pride and were able to rally against one of the worst teams in the NHL-Arizona (10-15-3)-for a 5-2 win going away tonight in their road trip finale at good old Gila River Arena.

Nine different Bruins tallied points, led by Brad Marchand (2 goals), Reilly Smith (2 assists) and Dougie Hamilton (2 assists) as Boston matched their season-high by scoring five goals (something they'd done twice before). Tuukka Rask (24 saves) bounced back from technically the worst performance of his NHL career (7 goals allowed) even though if you watched that debacle in San Jose on Thursday, you know that he really didn't play that poorly at all and Boston easily could have give up 10+ goals. Seriously.

For the record, their formerly lifeless offense has come together for nine goals in its past two contests. Now the B's come home and get a few days between games before they host Chicago (18-8-1) on Thursday (7, NESN) in a juicy matchup and Ottawa (10-11-5) on Saturday afternoon (1, NESN). The Coyotes are a complete mess in almost every manner possible so it was heartening to see them come out and allow two goals in the first six minutes of the game.

Marchand scored his first goal 58 seconds in, a one-timer from Smith and Hamilton for his team-leading seventh goal of the season. Kevan Millar made it 2-0 good guys five minutes later as he capitalized on a loose puck that found its way right to the blade of his stick in slot. One of the best players in Northeastern's mostly forgettable history cut it to 2-1 at 13:11 as Joe Vitale beat Rask to the top shelf over his far shoulder. It was the former Husky's third goal of the season, assisted by Arizona lifer (poor bastard) Shane Doan and Michael Stone.

Boston ensured it would be a happy flight home by pumping in three straight goals in the second period for a commanding 5-1 advantage. Simon Gagne had the puck go off his skate and in at 8:34 for his third goal of the season, assisted by Daniel Paille. A carbon copy one-timer by Marchand (from Smith and Hamilton) at 14:47 ended the proceedings for the immortal Devan Dubnyk (20 saves) and summoned Mike Smith from Arizona's bench.

If that wasn't enough evidence, you truly knew it was long over when Loui Eriksson of all people put in a power play goal at 19:30. His fourth goal of the season (Tyler Seguin only has five times as many goals as him this season) was assisted by Patrice Bergeron and Torey Krug. For once, Eriksson went to the net and was rewarded with a tasty rebound that he deposited through Smith's five-hole.

Arizona made the score a little less sad with a power play goal by Mikkel Boedker at 5:41 of the third period. His ninth goal of the season was assisted by Antoine Vermette and Cushing Academy's Keith Yandle. I feel like the Coyotes have used the same core guys for the past decade.

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