David Backes was supposed to miss eight weeks after undergoing colon surgery following a bout with diverticulitis, but he came back after just four weeks and the veteran winger had his best game of the season Thursday night.
With the Boston Bruins struggling against the Arizona Coyotes in the second period at TD Garden, Backes deflected a Riley Nash shot from the point into the back of the net for his first goal of the season, giving the B’s a 2-1 lead.
Less than six minutes later, Backes picked Alex Goligoski on the forecheck and ripped a shot off the far post and in to give Boston a two-goal lead they wouldn’t relinquish in a 6-1 win over the Coyotes.
It was Boston’s 12th consecutive win over Arizona. Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Anders Bjork and Danton Heinen also scored, while Tuukka Rask stopped 20 of 21 shots in the win.
The Bruins improved to 13-9-4 with the win, while the Coyotes fell to 7-19-5.
Here’s how it all went down:
THAT WAS QUICK
The Bruins wasted no time jumping on the lowly ‘Yotes.
Boston stuck 15 seconds into the night when Patrice Bergeron went behind the net and shuffled the puck to David Pastrnak, who immediately slid it across the ice to Marchand. The B’s winger slapped a one-timer past netminder Scott Wedgewood to give the B’s a quick 1-0 lead.
Boston dominated for most of the first period, but a mistake by Brandon Carlo negated what otherwise was a solid opening frame.
Carlo had the puck in the B’s defensive zone and he attempted a soft pass into the neutral zone. Unfortunately for Carlo, Christian Dvorak intercepted the puck before it got out of the zone. The ‘Yotes winger glided to the net before burying a backhand past Rask to tie the game at the 17:07 mark of the first.
BACKES AT IT
Arizona seemed to have the upper hand for a majority of the second period, as the Bruins didn’t register their first shot until 10:50 into the frame.
But the B’s finally broke the tie at the 13:45 mark in the period. Matt Grzelcyk passed the puck to Nash, who had rotated to the point. Nash launched a rocket at the net that Backes deflected into the top-left corner of the net.
ONCE MORE WITH FEELING
After giving the Bruins a 2-1 lead with under seven minutes to play in the second period, Backes struck again six minutes later.
Backes stripped a pass from Goligoski on the forecheck and then sniped the puck off the far post and in to give Boston a two-goal lead heading into the third frame.
Boston entered the third period on the power play and went on a 5-on-3 when Luke Schenn was sent to the box for hooking just 30 seconds into the frame.
The B’s were quick to take advantage, as Pastrnak, Marchand and Bergeron put on a passing clinic in front of the net. Pastrnak shuffled the puck to Marchand who touched it to Bergeron in front of the net. The center sent it back to Marchand who smoked a cross-ice feed to Krejci, who then sent a one-timer past Wedgewood.
The B’s added two more goals in garbage time to coast to a 6-1 win.
The Bruins will take the ice again Saturday when they face the New York Islanders. Puck drop from TD Garden is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images