For both the Boston Bruins and the Phoenix Coyotes, getting at least one win was all they needed during the NHL Premiere in Prague. It was a far better outcome than the one Tampa Bay Lightning faced two years ago when they lost the entire series to the New York Rangers, along with four points.
This year, both clubs walked away with two points a piece from the Prague series.
The final game in the premiere really took its toll on the Coyotes. Everyone looked drained and exhausted after the shutout by the Bruins, 3-0 in Sunday’s matchup.
“They definitely pushed and we didn’t,” Phoenix captain Shane Doan said after the loss. “Yesterday’s game, in the second period we got control of that one, and tonight, they took control. Really, that’s the difference. They took control of the whole game.”
Nathan Horton has been one of the greatest additions to the Bruins this season. Of the five goals scored so far this season by the Bruins, Hortan has contributed to four of the five goals(3G, 1A). Not a bad move for the Bruins, who acquired Horton from the Panthers this past June.
So far, Horton has been the most offensive player in Boston.
“It’s nice,” Horton said of his four points so far. “But the better feeling is that we won tonight. We didn’t go down 0-2. That’s why we came here. I think everyone’s pretty happy.”
Sure, there has been a hint of frustration in his voice when he talks about being the only person to put up the points for his club. He doesn’t want to be the only one carrying the team in goals. Everyone needs to contribute, make shots on goals, and have a better work ethic. That has been his frustration so far with the club. Not everyone has been showing up to perform on a consistent basis like he has in these first two games of the season.
The Bruins also saw one of their newest investments pay off in the second game of the season. Boston’s first round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Tyler Seguin (No. 2 overall), tallied his first NHL goal in his second NHL appearance. His first career NHL game was on Saturday.
Of the assists on Seguin’s goal, Tim Thomas picked up a point. It’s very rare that goaltenders tally points, but this one was an even more remarkable moment for both.
“There is no way I can lie there and have anyone believe me,” Thomas said of his assist on Seguin’s first NHL goal. “But it’s something that’s going to down in the books. I’m [going down] on the assist on Tyler Seguin’s first NHL goal. That’s a cool thing.”
Throughout the second premiere game, Phoenix had a difficult time creating opportunities to make a shot on goal. The Bruins were not only dominating control over the puck, but they were also outshooting the Coyotes by twice the amount of shots Phoenix was putting up.
It was in the second period, that the Bruins began to capitalize on a few lucky breaks. At 12:12, Milan Lucic got the Bruins on the scoreboard with a pass from Horton. Horton followed up with another goal at 19:26.
In the final period, Seguin was able to breakaway with the puck and make his own NHL history come alive for the books with his first NHL goal at 9:15.
“Good for him,” Horton said of Seguin’s first goal. “He’s such a skilled player. He’s confident. He knows he’s good. He’s going to score. I think it’s great for him to score and get it out of the way. There’s going to be a lot more in the NHL for him to come.”
Things got a little heated between the two clubs when Lucic and Ed Jovanovski started roughing each other up at 17:26. Both received a slashing and a roughing penalty, thus bringing an end to their time on the ice in Prague.
“We put up, overall, our whole game together,” Thomas said after the shutout win. “We did just about everything better than we did yesterday.”
“I know it wasn’t a very good game today by us,” Doan said about Sunday’s loss. “They played an incredibly good game. It was obvious in the result.”
In the end, after a whirlwind weeklong trip through Europe, everyone was ready to head home to their families and to their home arenas. Both teams headed to the airport following the game for the next plane out of Prague.
“We’ve been gone for a long time,” Thomas said of the end of the exhibition. “I, personally, am happy to get back to see my family. I can say that I had a great time while I was here. [Prague is] a beautiful city. It’s one of the most magnificent places I’ve ever been to.”