Bruins Game 20 Preview: Arizona Coyotes

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PHOTO CREDITS: (RALPH FRESO / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

By: Max Mainville | Check me out on Twitter @tkdmaxbjj 

The Boston Bruins and the Arizona Coyotes will meet in Glendale, Arizona for an 8:00pm EST game. The 10-6-3 Bruins are coming off of a 1-0 overtime loss to the Dallas Stars last night in Dallas and will be looking to get back into the win column following two consecutive losses.

The 9-8-1 Arizona Coyotes are currently sixth in the NHL’s Pacific Division, coming off of a surprising 2-1 victory over the Nashville Predators, who have been atop of the NHL’s league standings since the season began. Forward Michael Grabner and defenseman Jason Demers tallied the goals for the Coyotes in the win.

Who’s Hot

While the offence was held quiet against Dallas, Bruins forward Jake DeBrusk notched his sixth and seventh goal of the 2018-19 season in the 6-3 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday. DeBrusk brought his point totals to 7-2-9 in 19 games so far this season. More goals for DeBrusk is a good sign and the hope is that he can continue it in Glendale.

Like DeBrusk, David Pastrnak was kept off the scoreboard in Friday’s loss to the Stars, but Pastrnak still leads the National Hockey League in goals scored with seventeen goals on the season as of November 17th at 4pm EST. Pastrnak has three more goals than the next person on the goal-leading list, ahead of Tampa Bay Lightning forward Brayden Point, who has fourteen goals on the year.

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PHOTO CREDITS: (Getty Images)

Jaroslav Halak is most likely getting the starting role at the time of writing this article and he will look to continue his hot start to the season. Even after a tough loss to Colorado, Halak has a 6-2-2 record with a 2.16 GAA and a .932 SV%.

Scoring has not been great for Arizona so far this season, entering Saturday’s game with the fourth-lowest goals-for-per-game in the entire league with an average of only 2.61 goals for. However, forward Clayton Keller has twelve points in eighteen contests this season, with seven goals. He leads the team in points, tied with Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Forward Alex Galchenyuk has 3-5-8 totals in eleven games with his new team. The former Montreal Canadiens player has fit in nicely since being acquired by the Coyotes in a June trade.

Who’s Not

Darcy Kuemper is getting the start against Boston in the Saturday game, but he has not had a successful campaign early on. With a record of 4-4-1 in nine games, Kuemper has a 2.77 goals-against-average and a .917 save percentage. He will look to rebound with a win over the Bruins on home ice.

The depth scoring of the Bruins remains an issue. While David Krejci and Jake DeBrusk have added points on the second-line, the third-line and fourth-line have not had a great year. Danton Heinen is the only forward behind Krejci and DeBrusk with more than four points. Boston needs to find their depth scoring or even bring in another forward to help.

Like Boston, Arizona has not had scoring past Keller. Michael Grabner has ten points and Vinnie Hinostroza has nine, but the remainder of the forward core has not been too hot and like the B’s, need to find their groove if they want to move along in that Pacific division.

Bruins vs Coyotes Outlook

The Bruins announced earlier today that Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, and John Moore will not be joining the roster for the game as they will be heading back to Boston for injuries that they suffered. Big blows to a team already riddled with big injuries – especially to their blueline core. D-men Connor Clifton and Jakub Zboril will have to play another game with the Bruins after making their NHL debuts against the Stars.

The Bruins young defence will need to try their best to prevent the young Arizona Coyotes from gaining access in their zone. Whoever does end up starting for the Bruins will need to be solid in the net as the Bruins may need to rely on them because of the injury-filled defensive core that was already mentioned. The depth of the Bruins will need to try and fill the absence of leading point producer, Patrice Bergeron as well.

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