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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Bruins Notch First Home Win of the Season In Resounding Fashion, 6-0 vs. Coyotes

There are times in every professional sports regular season where one team has a distinct advantage in terms of rest and travel against their opponent. The key is to use those to your advantage and make the most out of them since everyone faces an impossible schedule at some point. Arizona (5-4-1) is an up-and-coming young team that is off to a surprisingly decent start to the 2015-16. However, they limped into TD Garden tonight at the tail-end (no pun intended) of a five-game road trip with their third game in four nights. Boston (4-3-1) had been off since Friday so you can guess the result: a 6-0 Bruins victory that was competitive for almost two periods before the Coyotes completely folded.

The win was extra meaningful for the B's for a couple notable reasons: first of all, they finally got their first win at home out of the way after starting 0-3-1 here. Additionally, Tuukka Rask (2-3-1; 24 saves) picked up his first shutout of the season and 27th of his career. David Krejci (2 goals) extended his NHL points lead and also built upon his point-streak to eight games, the most for a Bruin since 1992-93 (when Joe Juneau and Dmitri Kvartalnov went 14 games with a point to start the year).

Boston continued to get help from some unlikely sources: five different players had goals and 11 notched points. Jimmy Hayes led the way with three points (1 goal, 2 assists) while Loui Eriksson (2 assists), Matt Beleskey (2 assists) and Brad Marchand (1 goal, 1 assists) all had multiple points. Krejci started the fun with a beautiful goal at 17:22 of the first period. He skated in with Connolly on a 2-on-1 and you expected him to pass it but at the last second he instead chose to roof it over Mike Smith's (21 saves) shoulder. Eriksson and Krug assisted on his six goal of the season.

Hayes doubled Boston's lead at 6:51 of the second period when he knocked in a rebound. Beleskey and Ryan Spooner assisted on the Dorchester native's third goal of the season. You felt like the Bruins had this one in their skate bag when Joe Morrow of all people walked over the blue line and beat Smith with a beautiful shot. It was only his second career NHL goal, assisted by Beleskey at 17:29.

Connolly scored a goal for the third straight game at 10:22, a pea to the far corner on Smith's blocker side. Marchand and Bergeron assisted on his third goal of the season. Bozos John Scott (how the hell is he still in the NHL?) and Steve Downie had seen enough so they both got game-misconducts with 8:48 left in regulation. Boston's top-ranked power-play was able to cash in for its first power-play goal of the night (they were 1-for-4) as Brad Marchand put one by Smith who didn't seem to even know where it was headed. Colin Miller and Hayes assisted on Marchand's second goal of the season. Krejci fittingly put the bow on top with a garbage time tally with 38 seconds left in this laugher. Smith was still in there for some reason while Hayes and Eriksson padded their stats with another helper.

The B's get another break as they don't play again until Friday (7:30, NESN) in Florida (4-3-1). They are at Tampa Bay (5-3-2) the next night (7, NESN) on Halloween against one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. That Florida trip used to be an automatic six points but not so much anymore since the Panthers are a legit playoff contender now too. Jaromir Jagr left Florida's game tonight with a lower-body injury so let's hope the league's oldest player is healthy enough to return by then against one of his countless former teams.

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