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From The Garden: Streaking Bruins Top Coyotes, 2-1

TD GARDEN — The Boston Bruins (44-17-5) are winners of seven straight games, following a 2-1 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes (31-25-11) Thursday night at TD Garden.bos_g_tuukka-rask_mb_1296x729

Tuukka Rask, playing in back-to-back nights, was prolific in net for Boston. He stopped 22 of 23 shots in the tilt, but was strong when his teammates needed him most.

“It’s always challenging,” Rask said of playing on consecutive nights. “But that’s what they pay [us] for. We try to battle through it.”

Zdeno Chara capitalized on a Phoenix turnover early and the Black and Gold up 1-0 just five minutes into the game.

Brandon McMillan for the Coyotes had multiple chances to tie the game late in the first, but Rask held his ground to keep them off the board.

After a crazy three-shot sequence for McMillan, he found the puck on his stick at the point, and wristed a shot that trickled past Rask, but was bailed out just before it crossed the line.

Play went the other way, and the Bruins set up shop in the Coyote zone. Jarome Iginla was able to redirect Johnny Boychuk’s shot from the point, and the Bruins had a 2-0 lead.

Rask was big in the second period, stopping Shane Doan on a breakaway.

Shane Doan helped cut the deficit to 2-1 midway through the third period. After circling the Boston zone, he set up Lauri Korpikoski at the point.

Perhaps the biggest save of the night came with less than five minutes to play in regulation. Keith Yandle brought the puck down low, before going cross-crease to Antoine Vermette. With an empty net in front of him, Vermette shot high. Rask dove across the net and robbed him of the game tying goal.

The Bruins were able to hold off the surging Coyotes late in the game, and won by a 2-1 final.

“Yeah, we’re playing really well right now,” said forward Brad Marchand. “I think everyone seems to be buying into the system, playing the role, and not trying to do too much. And when you have four lines going, and all 16 and both goalies, it’s great. And we show them that we’ve got a really good team here, and that’s what we need going into the stretch.”

With the win, the Bruins are the top team in the East with 93 points. In the race for the Presidents’ Trophy, they are in second place behind the St. Louis Blues, who have 97 points.

The Bruins will play their next game at home against the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Phoenix will return home to face the Calgary Flames at 10:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.


Shawn Thornton was 2/2 on faceoffs taken… Shane Doan for the Coyotes was playing in his 1,300th NHL game…             Brad Marchand hit the post twice in the contest… Bruins had a sellout crowd for the 200th consecutive game… Claude Julien recorded his 300th win behind the Boston bench.

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