GLENDALE, Ariz. — It took less than three minutes to put their 2 points in jeopardy.
The Bruins had gone up by two goals on a Brad Marchand shorthanded score at 4:44 of the third period Saturday night, seemingly giving the team some breathing room in a game in which the Coyotes entered the final period with just six even-strength goals.
But 13 seconds later, Tobias Rieder beat Tuukka Rask for a power-play score, and then 2:24 after that it was Kyle Chipchura, turning a game that had seemed to be going the way of the visitors into a fight for even a single point.
One near-perfect tip at 9:10 by Patrice Bergeron on the power play and one win-solidifying score at 18:54, also on the power play, and Bergeron had two goals and the Bruins had a 5-3 win. The victory, their second consecutive one after losing their first three games, ended their road trip.
“Everybody talks that we’re a young team, but that’s a good building block for us,” Rask said of not falling apart after the Rieder and Chipchura goals in the third. “Even though we get scored on, we just keep pushing and going back at them and then that’s something you have to learn in this league and we did that.”
Perhaps all they needed to do was leave the TD Garden.
“The road’s been good for us,” coach Claude Julien said. “Spending some time together and being able to mesh a little bit more. We said the road trip was hopefully going to be a good thing for us and we just had to go out there and prove it..”
The Bruins had started well in their first three games, especially against the Lightning. In those games, however, they had weakened and wilted in the end. They didn’t do the same against the Avalanche and Coyotes.
Instead, they came out strong and stayed that way.
“I thought we built some confidence in Colorado by playing hard for 60 minutes,” Bergeron said. “And we were trying to bring the same energy and the same intensity for tonight’s game and go home with that momentum. I thought we did that, we sustained our pressure all night, even though they came back in the game.”
Boston spent the first period-and-a-half peppering Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith with shots. But Smith, who came into the game with a 1.45 goals against average and a .959 save percentage, held them off.
Until, that is, Tyler Randell came calling, on the team’s 25th shot of the game. Torey Krug made the steal in the neutral zone, sending it to David Krejci, who caught Randell with the pass. The rookie lifted a nifty backhand shot over Smith’s left shoulder at 8:42. It was his second goal in just his second NHL game. In fact, it was his second goal on just his second NHL shot.
Sixty-one seconds later, the Coyotes nearly tied the score, with Rask making a sprawling post-to-post save to keep Rieder off the scoresheet. It was a top-flight save from a top-flight goaltender. After yet another stellar Rask save with the Coyotes shorthanded, the Bruins took the lead on a power-play goal from Krejci on a slapshot from the left circle at 15:19.
Arizona took the early lead, capitalizing on a Bruins’ defensive miscue. Tommy Cross attempted to start a breakout, taking a D-to-D pass and trying to send it up the ice. But it was intercepted by Connor Murphy, who skated toward the net and fired a shot.
The puck skidded around as the Bruins and Coyotes converged on the crease, with Shane Doan eventually taking the final shot, one which bounced around until it finally made contact with Kevan Miller’s skate on its way into the net. Julien opted for his second coach’s challenge of the season, alleging goalie interference, but the call stood, and Doan had the goal at 2:12 of the first.
“There’s some mistakes here from I think a little bit of youth, being puck focused,” Julien said. “Couple of mistakes on puck management. But overall, I think that there’s a lot of positive coming out of these games that you’ve got to keep working on those things that is hurting us a little bit and keep working on the positives as well.”
The Coyotes played more than half of the game down a man after Joe Vitale left the game at 4:35 of the second period after Kevan Miller clearly got the better of the center in a bout.