For the first time in the Bruce Cassidy era, the Bruins will carry an ‘L’ from one game to the next. How they respond to Wednesday’s tough 5-3 loss against the Anaheim Ducks is tonight’s marquee question.
Tonight, the Bruins make the trek up the freeway from Orange County to Hollywood facing another team fighting for their playoff life in the Western Conference, the Los Angeles Kings. The Bruins won the only meeting of the season between the two teams back on December 18th, 1-0.
Anton Khudobin will get the start in the second game of the back-to-back, while Tim Schaller replaces Riley Nash on the fourth line and John-Michael Liles could return to the blue-line this evening. In other roster news, Austin Czarnik (subsequently removing him from injured reserve) and Joe Morrow (on a conditioning stint) were both sent to Providence.
Gametime: 10:30 p.m. TV/Radio: NESN/98.5 The Sports Hub Records: Bruins 30-24-6 (66 points), Kings 29-26-4 (62 points) Location: Staples Center
Bruins projected lines
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-David Backes
Peter Cehlarik-David Krejci-David Pastrnak
Frank Vatrano-Ryan Spooner-Jimmy Hayes
Matt Beleskey-Dominic Moore-Tim Schaller
Zdeno Chara-Brandon Carlo
Torey Krug-Adam McQuaid
Kevan Miller-Colin Miller
Kings projected lines
Dwight King-Anze Kopitar-Tyler Toffoli
Tanner Pearson-Jeff Carter-Dustin Brown
Adrian Kempe-Nic Dowd-Kyle Clifford
Trevor Lewis-Nick Shore-Marian Gaborik
– With Kuhdobin getting the start, this will likely be the last opportunity for the Russian to solidify the backup goaltending spot before the trade deadline. In one of his more solid performances of the season in his last start, Khudobin stopped 29 Canucks shots and looked a little more comfortable between the pipes compared to his previous starts before being sent down to Providence in late December. In his three starts where he had a save percentage of .900 or more, the Bruins are 2-1-0. That save percentage should be a magic number tonight against a Kings team that has the seventh fewest goals in the league.
– With the Panthers and Bruins losing in regulation last night, the Islanders have temporarily jumped up to the final wild card spot. They are in action tonight in Montreal where Claude Julien will be coaching his 1,000th career game. The Maple Leafs, who sit in third in the Atlantic Division one point ahead of the Black and Gold, are in action against the Rangers. As much help as the Bruins need, they also have to help their own cause, especially after missing their opportunity to jump back to third in the Atlantic.
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