Event: Boston Bruins at Los Angeles Kings
Date/Time: Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 7 p.m. EDT.
Location: TD Garden (Capacity: 17,565), Boston, MA.
Broadcast Info: Tuesday's game between the Bruins and the Kings will be broadcast live on NESN. The game can also be heard on the 98.5 the Sports Hub Radio Network, with Dave Goucher providing play-by-play, and Bob Beers providing analysis.
Last Time Out: The Bruins were able to escape from a 3-game losing streak after taking out the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, 5-3. Defenseman Joe Corvo had two goals, including the game winning goal on the power-play 6:44 into the third period.
Captain Zdeno Chara left the game after two periods of play with an undisclosed lower body injury, and isn’t expected to play tonight against the Kings.
The B’s were able to come out with three consecutive goals after falling 2-0 early in the first period of that game. Corvo scored twice, and Chara, Nathan Horton and Chris Kelly also scored to seal the deal and come up with a win.
Meanwhile, the Kings have been having a little bit of an issue as well. Just two days after the team lost their fourth straight game, head coach Terry Murray was released from head coach and assistant coach John Stevens will be coach in the interim. The Kings have lost four straight games and six of the last eight.
The official statement released by the Kings came from President/ General Manager Dean Lombardi:
"The LA Kings today made a decision to relieve Terry Murray of his head coaching duties. Assistant Coach John Stevens will take over those duties on an interim basis. The decision was made not based on one glaring moment but rather it was something that built up. I told the players that the coach, who works as hard as any coach I have been around, paid the price and that they are accountable. My message to the fans is that your support this season has been second to none and we remain committed to our plan of building this team into a championship-caliber squad. "
Storyline: Both teams have hit kind of a hiccup in the past few weeks. The Bruins were on their way to lose three straight games after the scored only once in two games. The Kings have had a number of problems, and their coach paid for it.
Now, as the Kings travel across the country to take on the Bruins, both are looking to capitalize on the other team’s misfortunes.
This is the first of two meetings between these teams, but the other isn’t coming until March 24. Though the first and second lines haven’t been as on fire as they were to start the season, they have contributed along with the other lines, showcasing some of the depth they have on the team.
The Bruins will go without Chara, Danny Paille and Gregory Campbell who is now in a foot boot for the time being. Zach Hamill was called out of Providence on an emergency basis, though it's unclear if Campbell will be out for tonight's game.
Players To Watch: Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards are leading the team in points for the Kings, and each has four points in the last five games. Richards has some experience against the Bruins and should provide some insight into the team.
For the Bruins, Chris Kelly has become a go to guy for both his defensive play and, new this year, his offensive performance. Kelly is second on the team in goals (11), despite only have two points in his last five games.
Prediction: The Kings are in an unstable state. They could either be defeated from losing their coach, or it could motivate them to turn their season around. Either way I think the Bruins will get the better of them, and come out on top. Final Score: Bruins 5, Kings 3.