Stickhandling and lack of pressure on the net doomed the Boston Bruins on Saturday, as they lost their season opener to the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-2. The game was part of the NHL's opening weekend festivities in Prague, Czech Republic.
Nathan Horton was a bright spot for the Bruins, as he contributed both of the team's goals. Horton was Coyotes' goalie Ilya Bryzgalov's only problem on the night - Bryzgalov had 40 saves otherwise.
The Coyotes had goals from Czech native Radim Vrbata (2 goals), Taylor Pyatt, Scottie Upshall and Eric Belanger. Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask made 32 saves. Another highlight for the Bruins was the regular season debut of Tyler Seguin, who had four shots.
SBNation's Stanley Cup of Chowder pointed out the Bruins difficulties with stickhandling throughout the game:
"Stickhandling was a problem for the Bruins throughout, as Phoenix was able to use their speed and quickness to force mistakes repeatedly in the first two periods. It improved greatly in the third."
Bruins head coach Claude Julien blamed errors for his team's performance in an interview with ESPNBoston's James Murphy:
"To sum it up, I felt our team, when the game was on the line, made too many unforced errors, and when you give a team like that opportunities -- I think they had at least three breakaways -- eventually they'll take advantage of it, and they did,"
The Bruins and Coyotes will conclude their European series Sunday, playing at 10am Boston time.