Tuukka Rask and Jaroslav Halak gave the Boston Bruins perhaps the best one-two goaltender duo in the NHL last season.
And through two games in 2019-20, well, it doesn’t seem like that’s bound to change. After Rask put the B’s in the win column in the new campaign, he was outdone by Halak who made 35 saves as Boston topped the Arizona Coyotes 1-0 Saturday at Gila River Arena.
It wasn’t the cleanest of games from the Black and Gold, who struggled to gel on offense. Darcy Kuemper also impressed in Arizona’s goal, finishing with 24 saves.
Brad Marchand was responsible for the lone marker, which came late in the first period.
The Bruins moved to 2-0-0 with the win while the Coyotes fell to 0-2-0
Here’s how it all went down:
It was not the sharpest of periods, but the Bruins left the ice after 20 minutes with a 1-0 lead thanks to a late goal and a phenomenal start from Halak in net.
Boston played rather sloppy with the puck in the first with six giveaways, while the Coyotes also managed to block six shots in the opening stanza. Arizona outshot Boston 10-6 and Halak was called upon a couple of times to make big saves, including a breakaway attempt by Vinnie Hinostroza.
Brad Marchand managed to give the Black and Gold a late lead in the period. Patrice Bergeron fed a puck into the faceoff circle from the below the goal line, where Marchand was able to receive it and wrist a shot past Kuemper.
Boston killed off their lone penalty of the period.
Like the first, there wasn’t a whole lot the Bruins could generate offensively, but it became a matchup of goaltenders in the second period, with Halak and Kuemper keeping it a 1-0 game.
The Bruins squandered their first power play opportunity after just eight seconds. Michael Grabner forced a turnover and was in on net when David Pastrnak brought him down, earning an interference penalty, as Halak turned away the breakaway bid.
Arizona had a 12-10 shot advantage in the middle stanza.
WHOLE LOT OF HALAK
Halak would keep things as they were the rest of the way, putting an exclamation point on a terrific start to his season.
Boston was forced to kill off an early penalty when Karson Kuhlman went off for interference. After making the kill, the B’s went of the power play soon-thereafter, but were unable to get some insurance despite applying plenty of pressure with three shots on goal.
Arizona continued to come hard, but Halak remained tall in net.
The Coyotes emptied their net in the final minute, but Boston couldn’t capitalize, escaping with their second straight one-goal win.
The Bruins play their third of four road games to open the season on Tuesday against the Vegas Golden Knights. Puck drop from T-Mobile Arena is slated for 10 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports Images