NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, October 10th
(All times eastern)
Boston Bruins (0-1-0) at Phoenix Coyotes (1-0-0), 10:05 a.m.
(Sports Network) - Czech native Radim Vrbata wasted little time on Saturday
getting his home country behind the Phoenix Coyotes, who today go for a sweep
of their set against the Boston Bruins as the NHL concludes its 2010 Premiere
Series at the O2 Arena in Prague.
The Coyotes and Bruins are two of the six teams that opened up their schedules
with games in Europe. Carolina and Minnesota began their respective campaigns
in Helsinki, Finland, while San Jose and Columbus did battle at Stockholm,
Phoenix won its fifth straight season opener yesterday with a 5-2 triumph.
Vrbata scored the game's first goal 7:59 into the opening period and capped
the contest with an empty-net tally to go along with a second-period assist.
Taylor Pyatt, Scottie Upshall and newcomer Eric Belanger all lit the lamp in
victory, while Ed Jovanovski had two assists and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 40
"I thought all our Czech players played very well," said Phoenix head coach
Dave Tippett. "It's probably very special for them to come and play here in
front of their own family in their own country."
Tippett could elect to stick with Bryzgalov again today when his team tries to
win two straight to begin a season for a third straight year. The netminder
improved to 4-0-1 with a 1.79 goals-against average in five career starts
Nathan Horton, acquired from the Florida Panthers during the offseason,
registered a pair of third-period goals for Boston, which is trying to recover
from blowing a 3-0 series lead to Philadelphia during the second round of last
The Bruins have now lost three straight and four of their last five versus
Tuukka Rask, facing the Coyotes for the first time in his career, stopped 32
shots in defeat.
"I think to sum it up, I felt our team, when the game was on the line, made
too many unforced errors," said Bruins head coach Claude Julien. "You know,
when you give a team like that opportunity like we did, and I think they had
at least three breakaways, eventually they'll take advantage of it and they
Julien could go with former Vezina Trophy winner Tim Thomas in net today if he
wants to shake things up. Thomas, who won the award following the 2008-09
season, is 1-2-0 with a 2.35 GAA in his career versus Phoenix.
Tyler Seguin, the No. 2 overall pick of the 2010 draft, made his NHL debut and
registered four shots on net. He finished the game a minus-two.
Zdeno Chara had an assist after the Bruins announced before the game they had
signed the defenseman to a seven-year contract extension that runs through the
10/10 10:06:21 ET