Christian Peterson for Getty Images
The Bruins continued their inconsitent play and trend of lose one win one in Phoenix. The Bruins mounted just one goal on 23 shots while the Coyotes scored four times on 36 shots, including two power-play goals. Shane Doan recorded three assists and Bryzgalov was strong between the pipes for the Yotes.
The Bruins went down early in the first period when Ed Jovanovski scored a power-play goal just 15 seconds into Marc Savard’s lazy slashing penalty, less than five minutes into the game. The Bruins came out playing a faster style of play against their Western conference opponent. The Bruins utilized short breakout passes but fell behind after Savard took an early penalty.
Thomas was able to hold the Yotes at bay on odd-man rushes, making several saves without yielding rebounds. The Bruins were able to remain in a one-goal hole despite being outshot 14-7 due to a bevy of blocked shots. The Coyotes also had six scoring chances in the first period as a result of some bad decisions in the defensive zone by the Bruins.
The Coyotes added a second goal less than seven minutes into the second frame when Adrian Aucoin snuck one past Thomas off a tipped shot. The puck squirted through Thomas’ pads. At this point, Thomas had faced 21 shots in just 27 minutes. Conversely, the Bruins mounted only 10 shots. Thomas made a big stick save a few minutes later to keep the game 2-0.
Bryzgalov, who had not been tested much in the first half of the game stoned Sturm on a breakaway snapshot during a 4-on-4 halfway through the frame. However, just after Sturm’s failed breakaway attempt, Mark Stuart teed off a one-timer from the left point that found its way past Bryzgalov to cut the lead to 2-1.
Yandle late on Phoenix’s third power-play on a scramble in front of the net, the goal was the Coyotes second power-play goal of the night, and the Bruins special teams continued to struggle. The Yotes scored just 44 seconds later when Scottie Upshall ripped a missile from the left circle over Thomas’ glove hand, ringing the post on its way in. The Bruins trailed 4-1 going into the final frame, seemingly wilting after falling behind, losing one-on-one battles, and missing defensive assignments. Inconsistencies continue to plague Tim Thomas’ stats; the goaltender stopped just 21/25 through 2 periods. The Bruins offense didn’t help much, mounting 17 listless shots in the first 40.
The Bruins failed to mount a comeback in the third period as the Coyotes played aggressive enough to keep a large lead and the Bruins played bad enough to not mount a threat.
Up to this point in the season, the Bruins, for the main
part, have appeared to be going through the motions. The special teams are clearly a point of
concern as the losses of Ward, Axelsson, and Yelle are becoming evident on the
The Bruins will have three days in between games to fix
whatever it is that ails them. The Bruins will face Nashville at home
on Wednesday night before going to Philadelphia to face the Flyers the
Areas of concern
The Bruins let in two power-play goals against the Coyotes, an area that has been a constant problem this season. In their four losses this season, the Bruins have let in 8 goals on the penalty kill.
Odd-man rushes. The Bruins defense has been easy to skate past on odd-man rushes. Perhaps the pairings haven’t clicked yet but certainly Thomas does not appreciate the bevy of odd-man chances coming at him.
Scoring chances. The
Bruins have not gotten the better of scoring chances much this year. They have been unable to sustain possession
and capitalize on 5-on-5 scenarios.