The Arizona Coyotes will be looking to reverse course when they return home from a 14-game road trip to face the Boston Bruins on Friday night in Tempe, Ariz.
Arizona is coming off Wednesday’s 8-2 loss to Edmonton that stretched the team’s losing streak to six games.
“We didn’t fight like we usually fight,” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said. “Right from the beginning there was that softness, where we had three grade-A chances and missed the net all three times. We knew we had a tough opponent and we needed to be much better.
“Against professionals, a night like (Wednesday) will happen. We just have to make sure it doesn’t happen too often.”
The setback against Edmonton ended Arizona’s record-tying road trip, which began on Nov. 5. Arizona won its first three games on the trip but went 1-7-3 after that.
Twenty of Arizona’s 24 games this season have been played on the road. The Coyotes are 1-2-1 on their new, temporary home ice on the campus of Arizona State University.
Boston dropped a 4-3 decision via shootout to Vegas on Monday but avoided back-to-back losses by skating to a 4-0 victory over Colorado on Wednesday. Boston’s Linus Ullmark made 23 saves in the shutout victory. The Bruins haven’t lost consecutive games this season.
“I think we have (an identity on the road),” Boston coach Jim Montgomery said. “We have a veteran team that knows how to play on the road. We haven’t scored as much on the road as we have at home, but that’s probably normal.
“I think our game doesn’t change. That’s what I like — that our identity is the same where we check hard and try to make plays.”
Boston is 14-0-1 at home this season and has a 7-3-0 record on the road. Friday’s battle with Arizona will be the second game of a three-game road trip.
“I think (success on the road) is just going out and playing hockey and not overthinking anything, just stick to our game and just knowing it doesn’t matter really about the crowd and what they do,” Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy said. “It’s about what we do. It’s a different sort of mentality on the road. It’s sort of you versus everybody, not individually but as a team. It’s the team versus everybody, so it’s kind of fun. It’s fun to be a spoiler.”
The Bruins beat the Coyotes 6-3 in Boston’s home opener earlier this season. That victory extended Boston’s winning streak against Arizona to 19 games — the Bruins’ longest winning streak against any opponent in the franchise’s history. The Coyotes haven’t beaten the Bruins since 2010.
Arizona erased a 3-1 deficit by scoring the first two goals in the third period, but Boston’s Derek Forbort broke the tie by scoring with 9:29 to play.
Boston’s David Pastrnak enters Friday’s matchup with 18 goals and 18 assists in 25 games this season. He leads the team in points and power play goals (seven).
Clayton Keller leads Arizona with 22 points (seven goals).
Boston winger Craig Smith returned to the lineup Wednesday after missing the previous three games with an upper-body injury. Smith filled the right-wing spot on Boston’s fourth line with Nick Foligno and Tomas Nosek.
–Field Level Media