BOSTON (AP)Derek Forbort scored the tiebreaking goal with 9:29 left in the third period, and the Boston Bruins won their home opener 6-3 over Arizona on Saturday night, beating the Coyotes for the 19th straight time.
It’s the Bruins’ longest winning streak in club history against any opponent, with their last loss against the Coyotes coming on Oct. 9, 2010, in Prague.
The Bruins have won their first two games to begin their 99th season under new coach Jim Montgomery, who replaced the fired Bruce Cassidy.
”In a lot of areas we were better tonight,” Montgomery said. ”We played a team that was hungry. Things didn’t go really well in their first game. Human nature is they’re going to come back and they did. … I just like the way we responded.”
The Coyotes erased a 3-1 deficit early in the third period when Josh Brown scored at 2:58 and Shayne Gostisbehere beat goaltender Jeremy Swayman between the pads on a breakaway for a short-handed goal a little less than three minutes later.
But Forbort saved the home opener from being a big letdown for the TD Garden crowd by slipping a wrister into the net from the left faceoff circle for his first goal since Nov. 20, 2021.
A.J. Greer then added an insurance goal 3:20 later before sealing it with an empty-netter.
Pavel Zacha, acquired from New Jersey for forward Erik Haula in the offseason, had a power-play score for the Bruins’ first home goal of the season and his first in a Boston uniform. Charlie Coyle and Nick Foligno each added a goal for the Bruins. Swayman stopped 21 shots.
”It’s nice to get off to a good start, obviously, for our group – two wins,” Foligno said. ”Nice to contribute. I’m feeling good, feel healthy. I’m excited. I like what our lines are all doing. That’s been the most fun. … That’s exactly what we preached in training camp. It’s exciting to be a part of.”
Clayton Keller added a power-play goal for the Coyotes (0-2) and Karel Vejmelka made 37 saves.
”We were right there,” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said. ”It’s tough to swallow because we believe so much and have worked so hard. I like in the first period our urgency, and we were engaged and we’re battling. … We built our confidence throughout the game.”
Boosted by an early two-man, power-play advantage, the Bruins had a handful of good chances against Vejmelka before Zacha scored off a rebound 4:03 into the game when Foligno’s shot hit the post and caromed right out front to him.
Coyle’s goal made it 2-0 late in the opening period when he beat Vejmelka over the left shoulder with a wrister from just inside the right circle.
Keller beat Swayman with a one-timer from the right circle 6:21 into the second period, but Foligo redirected Connor Clifton’s shot past Vejmelka at 14:03 to restore the Bruins’ two-goal lead.
”You saw how hard we played in the offensive zone,” Swayman said. ”I couldn’t be happier how the system’s going right now.”
Bruins forward David Krejci got a huge hand during player introductions when the PA announcer said: ”Welcome back to Boston” before introducing him. Krejci played last season in his native Czech Republic.
The biggest ovation was for captain Patrice Bergeron.
NOTES: Foligno’s assist on Zacha’s goal was his 500th career point. … Hall of Famer and former Bruin Johnny Bucyk was in a luxury box and got a loud ovation when they showed the 87-year-old on the video board. … Keller has played in both games after suffering a knee injury on March 30 that ended his 2021-22 season. … Arizona forward Travis Boyd played his 200th career NHL game. … Bruins defenseman Brandon Carlo left with an undisclosed injury.
Coyotes: Visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night.
Bruins: Host the Florida Panthers Monday night.
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