Thursday evening NHL hockey action and the Pacific Division will square off with the Atlantic Division as the Arizona Coyotes take on the Boston Bruin at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts. The Coyotes enter this game off a 3-2 OT loss to Vegas on the road, while the Bruins are off a 5-3 loss at Nashville. Goalie Probables: The Coyotes will be sending out Scott Wedgewood and the Bruins will counter with Tuukka Rask.
Coyotes Look To Break Long Skid Against The Bruins
The Arizona Coyotes have been one of the worst teams in the league all year and they have just seven wins in the year so far. Well, getting number eight may prove to be tough as they have lost their last 11 games with the Bruins. The Coyotes have also gone just 4-14 on the road this year and that makes it tough for them in this one as well. The Coyotes have been outscored by 25 goals in their last eight games against the Bruins and lost to them earlier at home by a score of 6-2. They have an uphill climb in this one. The Coyotes enter off a 3-2 road loss to the Golden Knights in OT and scoring in the loss was Jakob Chychrun, which was his 1st of the year and Derek Stepan, which was his 5th of the year. Taking the loss against the Golden Knights was Scott Wedgewood, who allowed three goals on 35 shot attempts to fall to 3-7 with a 2.68 GAA and a .918 save percentage on the year overall, including 1-5 with a 2.93 GAA and a .918 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 2-6 with a 2.61 GAA and 4-4 with a 1.85 GAA against the Eastern Conference. This will be his first meeting with the Bruins.
The Coyotes have been very poor on off this year as they come in ranked 30th in the league in scoring at 2.40 gpg, while also ranking 24th in shots taken (30.2 spg) and 21st in power play conversions, converting on 17.5% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very poor as they come in ranked 30th in goals allowed, giving up 3.43 gpg, while also ranking 22nd in shots allowed (32.3 spg) and 15th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 19.0% of their chances.
Khudobin Struggles In Music City
The Boston Bruins have been playing well of late as they have won six of their last eight games and part of the reason for that has been the Play of Anton Khudobin, who has been getting the majority of the starts over a struggling Tuukka Rask. Well, in their last game, it was Khudobin that was struggling as he allowed four goals on 14 shots attempts in a 5-3 loss to the Preds, before being replaced by Tuukka Rask, who allowed one goal on 11 shot attempts. Khudobin is now 7-3 with a 2.53 GAA and a .912 save percentage on the year, while here at home he has gone 3-1 with a 2.97 GAA and a .906 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 27-30 with a 2.32 GAA at home and 19-21 with a 2.51 GAA against the West, including 1-1 with a 4.10 GAA against the Coyotes. Rask has gone 5-10 with a 2.62 GAA and a .906 save percentage on the year, including 4-5 with a 2.55 GAA and a .906 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 116-91 with a 2.12 save percentage at home and 58-59 with a 2.33 GAA against the West, while against the Coyotes he has gone 9-1 with a 1.60 GAA. Scoring in the loss was Charlie McAvoy, which was his 4th of the year, Zdeno Chara, which was his 3rd and David Pastrnak, which was his 14th. The Bruins have gone 7-6 here at home.
Boston has been poor on offense so far as they rank 27th in the league in scoring at 2.72 gpg, while also ranking 20th in shots taken (31.1 spg) and 16th in power play conversions, converting on 18.8% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been decent as they enter this contest ranked 11th in goals allowed, giving up 2.88 gpg, while also ranking 5th in shots allowed (30.2 spg) and 3rd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 15.2% of their chances.
- 17-37 in their last 54 games playing on three or more days rest
- 15-39 in their last 54 after scoring two goals or less in their previous game
- 8-2 in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- 19-9 in their last 28 vs. the Western Conference.
The Coyotes are not a very good team, while the Bruins have been very mediocre this year. The Bruins have really owned this series, especially of late as they have won the last 11 between these teams and seven of their last eight wins in this series has been by at least two goals. Boston is off a bad loss in Nashville and I fully expect them to get back on track in this one against an Arizona team that has gone just 4-14 on the road for the year and 0-4 in their last four games here in Boston. This one should be easy for the Bruins.