BOSTON - Charlie Coyle scored two goals, and the Boston Bruins beat Arizona 4-2 on Saturday for their 16th straight victory over the Coyotes.
The NHL-leading Bruins earned their sixth consecutive win. Patrice Bergeron and Jake DeBrusk each had a power-play goal 2:29 apart in the second period, and Coyle’s second was an empty-netter that sealed it in the final minute.
It’s Boston’s longest winning streak ever against any opponent, surpassing a 15-game stretch against the Philadelphia Flyers during the Bobby Orr-era from 1970-1972 when the Bruins captured two Stanley Cups (’70 and ’72).
Boston’s last loss to the Coyotes came on Oct. 9, 2010, a 5-2 setback in what was a Bruins’ home game in Prague.
Tuukka Rask made 29 saves for Boston, including a diving stop on Taylor Hall’s wrist shot with about three minutes to play. Rask extended his home point streak to start the season to 18 games (12-0-6), setting a club record. Gilles Gilbert owned the old one at 17 games (16-0-1) in 1973-74.
“It’s just one of those things. I think we’ve played good as a team at home,” Rask said. “We battled back from multigoal deficits in the third period, and that shows how resilient we are as a group and I just try to give us a chance to win. I guess it’s been working, trying to get points at home at least.”
Phil Kessel and Jakob Chychrun scored for Arizona, which has lost five of its last six games (1-3-2) overall and six in a row on the road. Adin Hill stopped 29 shots.
“We had some good stretches today, but I don’t think enough,” Kessel said. “We’ve got to get some wins here.”
Boston broke ahead 2-1 when Bergeron, positioned in the slot, redirected David Pastrnak’s shot from the left point behind Hill just six seconds into a power play midway through the second period.
“You prepare like any other game, whether you’re starting or backing up,” said Hill, who found out during warmups that he was starting because Antti Raanta wasn’t feeling well.
DeBrusk made it 3-1 at 14:35 when his tip of Pastrnak’s shot from the left circle hit Hill’s glove, bounced up and trickled into the net between his right arm and body.
Bruins defenseman Jeremy Lauzon was given a match penalty for a check to the head on Derek Stepan late in the first and the Coyotes took advantage, moving ahead 1-0 on Kessel’s power-play goal 3:26 into the second.
“I didn't think it was a match penalty,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said.
Rask made a save, but defenseman Zdeno Chara cleared the rebound right to Kessel near the right circle, where he fired it over a diving attempt by Boston’s goalie.
Just four seconds after its power play expired, Boston tied it when Coyle flipped a shot into the net from near the edge of the crease following Charlie McAvoy’s nice backhand pass across the front.
The Coyotes clearly had the best scoring chance of the first when Rask made a splendid glove save on Conor Garland’s wrist shot from the right circle. Garland, who had a wide-open shot on a rebound during a power play, just looked upward and smiled after Rask’s save.
The Bruins had a 10-minute pregame ceremony honoring Chara for recently reaching 1,500 career games and 1,000 with the Bruins - all as the team’s captain.
He was presented with a watch and a trip to any destination from his teammates, and a gold stick and a painting from the club that was presented by president Cam Neely. There was a video tribute played on the scoreboard, which included his highlights along with congratulatory remarks from many of the league’s star players.
He was joined by his wife, daughter and two sons on the ice. He got numerous loud cheers, with a fan yelling down from the balcony: “We love you Z!.”
“There was a lot of emotions going through my head,” Chara said. “Everyone did such an amazing job. I was extremely happy that my family could be there because those are the ones that make, especially my wife, so many sacrifices over the course of my career.”
NOTES: Kessel played his 831st consecutive game, passing Andrew Cogliano for sixth-most on the NHL’s all-time list. Kessel hasn’t missed a game since Halloween night in 2009. The Bruins won the clubs’ first meeting, 1-0 in Arizona on Oct. 5.
Coyotes: At Montreal on Monday.
Bruins: At Detroit on Sunday afternoon.