On Saturday evening, the Boston Bruins avenged Thursday's loss in San Jose by picking up a crucial two points by way of a 4-2 victory over the Kings in Los Angeles.
Boston would regain the lead early in the third period when a quick transition play from David Krejci and Milan Lucic would result in Lucic's 24th tally of the season. Just over a minute later, the B's would add to their lead when a series of beautiful puck-possession passes from the third line would end with Chris Kelly's 19th goal of the year. Scoring three goals against Quick is without doubt a herculean feat, as the United States Olympian has only allowed three or more pucks past him in twenty-one of his sixty-three starts this season.
The Kings turned things around late in the third after being revitalized by a superhuman stop by Quick after Milan Lucic set up David Krejci all alone in front of the L.A. net. Rookie blueliner Slava Voynov potted his seventh of the year at the 14:46 mark when he fired a wrist shot past Tim Thomas after a Justin Williams face-off win in the offensive zone.
However, the Kings comeback would be thwarted time and time again by the incredible efforts of Tim Thomas as the Black and Gold would hold on for the victory. In the "something you don't see every day" category, Brad Marchand would be credited with an empty-net goal as time expired, making the final score 4-2 in favor of Boston.
After a scoreless first period,Patrice Bergeron would be the first to tickle the twine when he took advantage of a Los Angeles turnover (on the power-play) to score his 20th goal of the season at the 5:18 mark of the second frame. It was Brad Marchand who would intercept a Kings' neutral zone pass and head up-ice to throw the puck towards Jonathan Quick. The rebound would kick right to the stick of Bergeron, who slid the puck into an empty goal.
Only eight minutes later, the Kings would get it back when fourth line pivot Colin Fraser converted on a 3-on-2 rush, immediately after Quick stopped Marchand on a breakaway at the other end of the ice.
With only two minutes to go in the second frame, captain Zdeno Chara was sent to the box for high-sticking. Fortunately for Boston, Tim Thomas came up with a few superhuman saves to deny the Kings efforts to take the lead before the third period.
Through one period of action out in Los Angeles, the Bruins and Kings looked a lot like the two squads struggling to find offense that they currently are. Both teams combined for a hefty total of twenty-six shots on goal, but were unable to get one past the opposing goaltender.
Tim Thomas got off to a hot start in the opening frame, denying the Kings on a plethora of early scoring chances and ending the period with a total of sixteen saves. On the other end of the ice, Kings' netminder Jonathan Quick stopped all eleven shots that the Black and Gold would throw his way.
The first frame was undoubtedly highlighted by a mid-period scrap between Boston center Chris Kelly and the Kings' third line specialist, Trevor Lewis. Los Angeles would out-hit the B's by a 16-11 margin and dominate the faceoff dot, winning 13 of 20 draws.
Nathan Horton (Concussion) – Boston’s top right winger remains sidelined with a concussion he suffered back on January 21.
Rich Peverley (MCL) – Peverley will sit out another game, but is with the team in California and reports have indicated that he has begun to participate in contact drills during practice.
Tuukka Rask (Groin) — The B’s back-up ‘tender is slated to be out of commission until mid-April with a lower abdomen/groin strain.
Last Time We Met:Kings0 , Bruins 3
– When these two squads met at TD Garden back in mid-December, just about everything was going wrong for the Kings. They’d just fired head coach Terry Murray and were in the midst of a brutal six-game losing streak. Boston took full advantage of these outlying circumstances, pasting the Kings by a 3-0 score, thanks to a two-goal outing from agitating winger Brad Marchand.
Prediction: Look for veteran back-up Marty Turco to get the nod this evening for his second start in a Bruins’ uniform. If not, he should be in the crease on Sunday evening in Anaheim. Rarely do I predict such a high scoring affair — especially between two squads struggling for offense–, but in this case, I think this one will be a back-and-forth contest that fans will not want to miss. The Kings are the more desperate team right now, which makes me think they’ll be able to get the extra point tonight on home ice.