NHL

Bruins-Coyotes Preview

The Boston Bruins are on the verge of their longest losing streak in two seasons while the Arizona Coyotes have made changes in response to their dismal showing.

These teams figure to be desperate Saturday night when the visiting Bruins look to defeat the Coyotes for the fifth straight meeting.

Boston (14-12-1) fell 7-4 at San Jose on Thursday and has no points through three games entering the finale of this trip. The Bruins last dropped four straight in an 0-3-1 stretch April 11-20, 2013, and their last four-game regulation losing streak was March 10-15, 2012.

It all went south against the Sharks after the Bruins took a 2-0 lead following one period. They went on to concede more goals than they had all season.

"We scored some goals but the rest of our game wasn't very good," coach Claude Julien said. "After we took that 2-0 lead we kind of got loose and sloppy, and that gave them a chance to get back in the game."

Arizona (10-14-3) held a 20-minute, players-only meeting after Thursday's 4-0 loss to Los Angeles. Mike Smith was pulled after yielding three goals on 20 shots while the Coyotes failed to solve Kings backup Martin Jones.

That led to a busy Friday for general manager Don Maloney and coach Dave Tippett, who admitted he has other things on his mind than Boston's woes.

"I played my first game against the Boston Bruins so they are near and dear to my heart," Tippett said. "I know Claude well. Losing a game like that, a couple of games in a row like they have, I'm sure they won't be in a very good mood, so should be two teams that are not in a very good mood."

The Coyotes traded forward Rob Klinkhammer and a conditional draft pick Friday to Pittsburgh for defenseman Philip Samuelsson, who was then sent to Portland of the AHL.

In addition, the club recalled defenseman Andrew Campbell and forward Jordan Martinook from Portland. Both are expected to make their Coyotes debuts, with Martinook set to play in his first NHL game.

"Both (are) young players that have played very well down there," Tippett said. "Campbell is a bigger, heavier defender, a left-shot defender. Martinook is probably a third- or fourth-line guy, but heavy guy, good speed, he has chipped in a few goals down there."

Defenseman Connor Murphy will return after missing two games with an upper-body injury. He probably won't help an offense that is among the NHL's worst with 2.30 goals per game.

"In 27 games so far this year, we have scored 25 less goals than last year," Tippett said. "That's almost a goal a game."

The Coyotes are 0-4-2 in their last six at home and have never lost seven straight there since moving to Arizona for the 1996-97 season.

Boston has gone 0 for 16 on the power play in its last nine games. Arizona has conceded five power-play goals in opponents' last 14 chances.

Tuukka Rask started both victories for the Bruins over the Coyotes last season, allowing three goals.

"We wanted to come out at least with a .500 record but now it's not happening so try to gain some confidence back and get the win in Arizona and start rebuilding," Rask said.

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