The Boston Bruins thought they would take care of business against the lowly Arizona Coyotes. But Arizona Coyotes Karel Vejlmeka thwarted any plans for the Bruins to briefly celebrate two more runs amid their historic start.
The Bruins still fought hard and managed to tie the game in third. After firing 46 shots in his direction, the Bs thought they would have at least a few more chances on Vejelka before extra time. Yet, on a night of oddities at Mullet Arena, the Bruins fell victim to the oddest findings.
As Arizona cleared the puck from the defensive end in the final seconds, Jeremy Swayman opted out of playing the puck in hopes of making a clearance with Derek Forbort clearly nearby. The puck went through the side of the crease before reaching the goal line.
The linesmen didn’t blow the play. An assertive Mattias Macceli pounced on the loose puck after Forbort struggled to circle the rubber biscuit.
With Forbort and Charlie McAvoy close to the goal line, Macceli quickly found Lawson Crouse for a wide open one-timer. The Coyotes winger quickly beat Swayman for the second time to secure Arizona’s 4-3 triumph.
“We thought it was icing,” head coach Jim Montgomery told reporters afterward.
The Bruins encountered defensive lapses, which resulted in a Josh Brown tally at 23 seconds, a Crouse tip in the second period and Nick Schmaltz converting on a 2-on-1 early in the third. But Montgomery’s team remained aggressive on the offensive side from the get-go.
David Pastrnak and Nick Foligno each tied the game in the first and third periods, respectively, on power play one-timers. They remained aggressive in 5-on-5 situations, generating several quality looks and cashing in during the middle frame on a gritty Charlie Coyle goal.
But it wasn’t enough. Between Veijlmeka’s stellar 43-save performance and game-ending icing-free streak, the Bruins couldn’t beat the lowly Coyotes.
Here’s what we learned after the Coyotes ended their 19-game drought against the Bruins since the 2010-11 season.
The no-icing call caught the Bruins off guard.
Rule 81.5 of the NHL rulebook highlights the league’s non-icing requirements. At no point does he mention anything about the puck going through the blue crease paint before hitting the goal line.
Since the puck didn’t hit Swayman on the way to Boston’s defensive goal line and Forbort was the closest skater in the zone, the Bruins thought the linesman would throw his arm in the air. to signal clearance.
The Coyotes opportunists pounced. The Bruins would meet the ensuing faceoff at center ice instead of their offensive end after Crouse got the go-ahead with 13.5 ticks remaining in regulation.
“It completely caught me off guard,” Foligno told reporters. “It’s freezing all day. I don’t understand how, at this stage of the game, it would be anything different. It’s really a pity. I don’t receive the call.
Foligno put the Bruins in position to score at least one point with his tying marker at 14:31 of the last period. The team continued to pressure Vejlmeka in the 5:29 final.
Instead, an official’s split-second interpretation left the Bruins with nothing to show for their efforts. Amid the frustration, captain Patrice Bergeron wasn’t interested in pointing fingers at the four men in stripes.
” It goes quickly. I think there is a debate for frosting there. The linesman is there to make a decision based on a split second,” Bergeron noted. “Bottom line, you just can’t blame the decisions because that’s the last thing you want to do. I think for us as a team we have to own it and be better in the next game.
The Bruins owned the Coyotes for the better part of a decade. Now, they’ll enter rebound mode for the second time in three games when they travel to Vegas hoping to avenge their only home loss of the season to the Golden Knights.
The Bruins struggle against Arizona’s counterattack.
Most of Boston’s 46 shots on goal have come in high-risk areas and on secondary scoring opportunities.
What the Coyotes lacked in quantity they made up for with most of their 16 net chances coming on very dangerous looks against a shaky Swayman.
For a brief period, the two teams traded odd runs. Still, the Bruins couldn’t convert their looks in transition, with Vejlmeka standing tall on breakaway attempts from Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk, and plenty of 2-on-1 and 3-on-2 opportunities midway through the period.
The opportunistic Coyotes converted their chances when it mattered, with Crouse and Schmaltz enjoying their appearance on the ice.
“At the end of the day, we have to be better and do more to avoid those A-level chances and find ways to find the back of the net on our side,” Bergeron said.
“I think it’s something we can take away,” Foligno added. “When you have the puck though, there are times when you haven’t got it deep, and that’s all they need. That seemed to be the case tonight – where a little game where you don’t understand or they have a little life, and they think they’re in the game.
The Bruins dominated possession of the puck. But they encountered a hot goalie and a timely counterattack from Arizona in their first appearance at a relatively intimate hockey venue.
A bizarre night within new confines
The curiosity surrounding their desert journey began during Friday morning skating inside the more than 4,600-seat venue. Some players have compared the area around Mullet Arena to similar sites from their college or junior hockey days.
With spectators right above the action, the pace of play seemed a little faster than what they are used to. Perhaps it affected the officiating as well, with both teams quibbling over calls and no-calls throughout Friday’s tilt.
“It’s a great environment, but a tough environment too,” Montgomery said. “Things seem to happen a lot faster here. Do we think we could have had a few more power plays? Yeah. But you can say that every night.
The Bruins could have suffered a similar fate in Phoneix, Glendale, Tuscon, Houston, Quebec or even Hartford. They’ll have at least two more visits to Tempe as the Coyotes hope to finally find a long-term home — in Arizona or elsewhere — before their next appearance.
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