Boston Bruins at Arizona Coyotes
When: 9:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 5, 2019
Where: Gila River Arena, Glendale, Arizona
Preview for Digital Sports Desk by Gracenote
GLENDALE – For a team that came within one win of claiming the Stanley Cup four months ago, the Boston Bruins did not receive much of a break from the schedule makers this season. Boston got off to a positive start on an opening four-game road trip that features three playoff teams from 2018-19 and will look to make it two wins in as many games at the Arizona Coyotes tonight.
Newcomer Brett Ritchie, in his first season with the Bruins after spending his first five with Dallas, scored on Boston’s first shot of the game in a 2-1 victory over his former team in Thursday’s season opener. “Big team, new opportunity, fresh start, whatever you want to call it — I’m just going to try to take advantage of it,” said Ritchie, who had only four goals last season.
The Coyotes barely missed the playoffs last season due in large part to an offense that tied for 28th in the league with an average of 2.55 goals, and that trend continued in a 2-1 loss at Anaheim. “I thought we were OK defensively, but obviously we’ve got to score goals,” coach Rick Tocchet said in advance of Arizona’s home opener.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, ESPN-Plus, NESN (Boston), FS Arizona, FS Arizona-Plus
ABOUT THE BRUINS (1-0-0): Third-line center Charlie Coyle was acquired just prior to the trade deadline last season but did not make a noticeable impact until the playoffs, when he collected nine goals and six assists. Coach Bruce Cassidy called Coyle “arguably our best player” in training camp and he came up big in the opener, assisting on Ritchie’s opening goal and setting a screen on Danton Heinen’s tally. Second-line center David Krejci sat out the opener due to a lower-body injury but felt better at Friday’s practice and is a game-time decision.
ABOUT THE COYOTES (0-1-0): Looking to juice up the offense, Arizona shipped Alex Galchenyuk to Pittsburgh in exchange for Phil Kessel, one of four players in the league to record at least 20 goals in each of the past 11 seasons. Kessel assisted on the Coyotes’ lone goal, receiving a pass in the slot from Clayton Keller before feeding Derek Stepan for a one-timer. “This game was just one of those nights where we couldn’t get more than one,” Kessel said. “We need to get a little crisper and a little better, and if we can do that we’ll be just fine.”
- Bruins F Brad Marchand has 10 goals and 19 points in 15 games versus Arizona.
- Kessel, a former first-round pick of Boston, has played in 775 consecutive games, the second-longest active streak in the NHL.
- Krejci has 19 points (five goals, 14 assists) in 16 contests against the Coyotes.