Bruins recover in third, win 19th straight against Coyotes
BOSTON — A.J. Greer had two goals and an assist, and the Boston Bruins won their 19th straight game against the Arizona Coyotes with a 6-3 victory at TD Garden on Saturday.
It was the first multipoint NHL game for Greer, who signed a two-year contract with Boston on July 13. He entered the night with eight points (two goals, six assists) in 48 career games.
“We’re only two games in, but I feel really good about where I’m at right now with my game,” Greer said. “It’s not perfect, and it’s only gonna get better from here.”
Nick Foligno, Pavel Zacha and Charlie Coyle each had a goal and an assist, and Jeremy Swayman made 21 saves for Boston (2-0-0), which hasn’t lost to Arizona since Oct. 9, 2010.
“In a lot of areas, we were better tonight, and we played a team that was hungry,” Bruins coach Jim Montgomery said. “Things didn’t go really well in [the Coyotes’] first game (6-2 loss to Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday). Human nature is they’re going to come back, and they did. They played really hard. You could tell how physical they were and how hard they were going to try to go to our net, and I like how we responded.”
Clayton Keller, Josh Brown and Shayne Gostisbehere scored for Arizona (0-2-0), which is 0-18-1 against Boston during the streak. Karel Vejmelka made 37 saves.
“We were right there. It’s tough to swallow because we believe so much and have worked so hard,” Coyotes coach Andre Tourigny said. “I like in the first period our urgency, and we were engaged and we’re battling, so we were there. We built our confidence throughout the game.”
Zacha gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead at 4:03 of the first period, shooting into an open net on the power play after Foligno’s initial shot caromed to him off the post. Foligno’s assist on the play was his 500th NHL point.
Coyle made it 2-0 at 18:24. Trent Frederic controlled the puck after Greer forced a turnover in the neutral zone and passed to a streaking Coyle, who scored short side from the right circle.
Keller cut it to 2-1 at 6:21 of the second period, beating Swayman with a one-timer from the right circle on the power play, but Foligno tipped in a point shot from Connor Clifton to push it 3-1 at 14:03.
Brown made it 3-2 at 2:58 of the third period. Dylan Guenther, who was making his NHL debut, had the secondary assist on the play.
“I thought we played really well,” said Guenther, the No. 9 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. “Obviously, not the outcome we want, but, you know, I think that’s a step in the right direction.”
Gostisbehere tied it 3-3 at 5:42, intercepting a pass from Zacha in the neutral zone before shooting five-hole on a short-handed breakaway.
“Goals are going to go in, that’s the nature of the game,” Swayman said. “You want to make timely saves, (and) obviously I want those two back. However, I knew that there was going to be more chances to get, and I was going to do everything I can to shut the door.”
Derek Forbort put the Bruins back in front 4-3 with a shot from the left circle at 9:29.
Greer then made it 5-3 at 12:49 before adding an empty-net goal at 17:12 for the 6-3 final.
“Nice to get off to a good start,” Foligno said. “I like what our lines are all doing, that’s been the most fun. Every time every line’s stepping over the boards, the identity that we have, it’s exactly what we preached in training camp.”
NOTES: Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo (upper body) left the game late in the first period following a collision against the boards with Coyotes forward Liam O’Brien. Montgomery did not have an update postgame. … Coyotes defenseman Conor Timmins (upper body) left in the first period. Tourigny also did not have an update postgame.