The Boston Bruins snapped a three-game road losing streak with a 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Ariz. The Bruins concluded their four-game road trip to the West Coast with a 1-3-0 record.
Bruins winger Brad Marchand scored a pair of goals, while defenseman Kevan Miller, veteran forward Simon Gagne and Loui Eriksson (power play) contributed one goal each en route to victory. Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask finished with 24 saves.
During training camp, Marchand all but guaranteed he would have a strong season, but that hasn't been the case. On Saturday, he played his relentless style of game and was effective in every aspect. He now has eight goals in 25 games.
This was a game the Bruins needed to win, especially against the lowly Coyotes.
Returning to form: Marchand's linemate, Reilly Smith, has rediscovered his game of late. Smith provided a pair of assists in the win over the Coyotes. He has dealt with inconsistent play this season, but in his past couple games, the effort, success and sense of urgency have returned.
Scratched: After playing the first five games of his NHL career, Bruins rookie David Pastrnak was a healthy scratch against the Coyotes. The 18-year-old forward has one assist since his debut Nov. 24. Defenseman Matt Bartkowski was also a healthy scratch. He had played the previous nine games. Bruins forward Seth Griffith returned to the lineup after being a healthy scratch the previous three games. Defenseman Joe Morrow also returned after missing the previous two as a healthy scratch.
Lineup tweaks: With the Bruins in desperate need of offense, coach Claude Julien tweaked his line combinations -- again. With Griffith back in the lineup, he played with Carl Soderberg and Milan Lucic, which meant Eriksson was dropped to the third line with Chris Kelly and Matt Fraser. Late in the second period, with Boston holding a 4-1 lead, Eriksson was reunited with Lucic and Soderberg. In the third, however, Eriksson returned to the third line.
Power up: Entering Saturday's game, the Bruins were 0-for-16 on the power play in the previous nine games. Eriksson's power-play goal in the waning minutes of the second period gave Boston a 5-1 lead, as well as the Bruins' first goal on the man-advantage since Nov. 13 against the Montreal Canadiens. Also, it was Eriksson's first goal in 13 games. He now has four this season.