Backes scores 2 goals as Bruins beat Coyotes 6-1
BOSTON (AP) — David Backes is on the board with the Boston Bruins — twice.
Backes scored his first two goals of the season, helping the Bruins beat the Arizona Coyotes 6-1 on Thursday night.
It was Backes’ fourth game back after he missed 12 straight following surgery to remove part of his colon. The veteran forward scored his first goal with Boston on a tip-in 13:54 into the second and then added another goal with 54 seconds left in the period.
“No question — contributing offensively is a good feeling,” he said.
Brad Marchand scored 15 seconds into the game for the Bruins, who won for the seventh time in nine games. David Krejci, Danton Heinen and Anders Bjork also scored, and Tuukka Rask made 20 saves.
Christian Dvorak had an unassisted goal for Arizona, and Scott Wedgewood stopped 26 shots.
Backes, the former St. Louis captain who signed with Boston as an unrestricted free agent in July, was expected to miss up to eight weeks following his surgery to relieve inflammation caused by diverticulitis. He returned to the Bruins on Nov. 29 and got his 500th career point Monday with an assist during a loss at Nashville.
Backes, who has 225 career goals, said he was confident his first goal for the Bruins would come once he was healthy and his game started to return.
“I’ve always been one that trusted in the process — trusted in playing hard, playing the right way and knowing that the results come from that,” he said. “Over time, I know I’ll get my looks, I’ll get my opportunities. I’ve been there before and it’ll go in eventually.”
While there was no shortage of scoring for Boston, it was definitely Backes’ night.
“He’s a huge leader for our team,” Marchand said. “There’s a big void when he’s not playing. We’re very lucky to have the guy. He stepped up big tonight and really turned that game around for us.”
Arizona coach Rick Tocchet said the Coyotes were able to shake off Marchand’s early goal and played well up until midway through the second period.
“The 6-1 is not indicative of the game,” Tocchet said. “They had one chance at the 10-minute mark and then we gave a couple plays away and it’s 3-1 going into the third.”
Backes deflected in Riley Nash’s wrist shot from the blue line at to break a 1-all tie with 6:06 left in the second. He also stole the puck from Alex Goligoski inside the Arizona zone and beat Wedgewood with a wrist shot at 19:06.
Krecji’s power-play goal in the opening minute of the third put Boston up 4-1 just 15 seconds after Luke Schenn was called for hooking. Heinen and Bjork scored 55 seconds apart late in the game, leading to a players-only meeting for the Coyotes.
“It was really about the last 10 minutes. We can’t do that,” Dvorak said. “We left Wedgie out to dry and that is unacceptable.”
The Bruins struck first when Marchand scored on a one-timer off a crossing pass from David Pastrnak. But Dvorak tied it with a high backhand with 2:53 left in the first after stealing a clearing attempt by Brandon Carlo.
NOTES: Arizona D Kyle Capobianco, called up Monday from Tucson of the American Hockey League, made his NHL debut. ... Dvorak’s goal was his first in 10 games. ... RW Jacob DeBrusk returned to the Bruins after missing three games with an upper-body injury.
Coyotes: Continue a four-game road trip Saturday at Columbus.
Bruins: Host the New York Islanders on Saturday.