Pregame notes: Bruins vs. Kings | 7:00pm EST
Tonight marks the 127th contest between Boston and Los Angeles in their lifetime series – and second time this season – as the Bruins host the LA Kings at the TD Garden at 7pm EST. The Bruins hold a 78-33-14-1 lifetime record against the Kings while outscoring them 235-220.
These two teams first squared-off exactly two weeks ago at LA’s Staples Center, when the Kings rallied back to beat the B’s 4-3 in a shootout.
Away team: LA Kings (31-19-3, 65 points, 3rd Pacific Division Division, 6th Western Conference, 17-10-1 away, 6-4-0 last 10 games)
The Kings are 4-1-0 since the last meeting with the Bruins on Jan. 16., and 6-1-0 in their last seven. That now makes Los Angeles just two points away from tying the Phoenix Coyotes  for second-place in the Pacific Division – fourth overall in the West – and one-point away from the fifth seed, Colorado Avalanche .
- 8th in the NHL in goals-for per game – 2.89
- 13th in the league with 2.72 goals-against average
- 18.5% on the power play for 13th overall
- 24th overall in the NHL with a 79.6% success rate on the penalty kill
- 7th in the league with a team plus-11
Anze Kopitar: 3-4-7, plus-5, 21 shots on goal last five games – and on a four-game point streak.
Drew Doughty: 1-5-6, plus-5, 11 shots in last five – three-game point streak.
Dustin Brown: two-game assist streak, 0-4-4, plus-2 during that span.
Jarret Stoll: two-game point streak, 1-2-3, plus-2 over those two games.
Ryan Smyth: 3-2-5, plus-6, 15 shots on goal in his last five – including a two-game point streak.
Wayne Simmonds: 1-4-5 in his last five games, with a plus-2 and 10 shots on net.
Jonathan Quick has won his last four consecutive starts with a .925 save-percentage.
Home Team: Boston Bruins (23-21-8, 54 points, 12th Eastern Conference, 4th Northeast Division, 13-11-3 at home, 1-8-1 last 10 games)
- 30th/last in the NHL goals-for with 2.35 – nine goals in their last six
- 6th in the league with 2.44 goals-against average – 21 against in their last six
- 17.3% on the power play for 20th overall – 1-for-17 in their last nine games
- 2nd in the NHL with a 87.2% success rate on the penalty kill – successfully killed 33 of their last 38 times short
The Bruins are coming off a 2-1 loss to the Buffalo Sabres last night at the HSBC Center, now making it a six-game losing streak – their longest losing streak since Dec. 2007. Despite outshooting the Division-leading Sabres, 31-23, the Bruins came out with maybe a little too much emotion. Having been short-handed three times in the first period, the Bruins would only kill 2-of-3 – the last being the game-winner for Buffalo.
Aside from the penalties early on and and another notch in the “L” column, the Bruins put together a solid effort – puck possession, creating scoring opportunities, along with good defense and goaltending performances.
“Better, unfortunately right now we’re really looking at the end results – and it wasn’t there tonight” Claude Julien said after the game on his team’s performance after four days off. ” Disappointing, but I think our whole game was much better that it has been lately.
“We needed those four days the way we had been playing.” Julien added with the small break entering last night. “So we’ll take those four days as a positive and certainly not use them as an excuse for tonight.”
If the Bruins can put together another effort like they did last night, [while keeping it composed and lighting the lamp a couple more times] there’s a good chance they could put an end to their six-game skid, and the Kings’ four-game streak.