If you didn’t stay up a little late, you missed the Phoenix Coyotes winning a playoff game for the first time in eight years. And they did it led by defenseman Derek Morris, the former Bruins backliner.
Morris enjoyed a three-point night, including the game-winning goal on the power play 2:19 into the third period. The Coyotes, who were 3-for-4 on the power play, now lead their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series with Detroit, 1-0, with Game 2 slated for Friday night.
Here’s the replay of the goal, courtesy of NHL.com:
The Bruins, you’ll remember, dealt Morris to Phoenix on trade-deadline day because that was the only team he would waive his no-trade clause to go to. The Bruins added Dennis Seidenberg later that day to upgrade their defense corps, but once they didn’t acquire a scoring winger it became apparent the Bruins had the salary-cap space to have kept Morris and imported Seidenberg and gone into the stretch with one of the deeper blue-line crews in the league.
The trade of Morris for future considerations stands out more now not because Morris scored that giant goal last night but because tonight in Game 1 of their first-round series with Buffalo the Bruins are going to have to dress a seldom-used rookie (probably Adam McQuaid) as their sixth defenseman due to injuries to Mark Stuart and Seidenberg.
Morris’ heavy shot rarely hit the net in a Bruins uniform the way it did for the Coyotes last night. But Boston was always able to count on him to keep the puck moving and be in position in his own end, and he was missed during the playoff drive.
In other Game 1 action last night, Philadelphia, Colorado and Ottawa prevailed on the road against higher seeds.