Surging Bruins host Kings
KINGS (12-6-0) at BRUINS (11-5-1)
-- FS-West (HD); NESN (HD)
-- Los Angeles 6-4-0; Boston 6-3-1
-- It's the first of two meetings this season between the teams, who also face each other in Los Angeles on Jan. 24. The Kings have won the last three games, including a pair of shootout victories last season. They've also won their last three trips to Boston.
-- It's not that the wheels are coming off for the Kings, but they've certainly hit their first pothole of the season with three consecutive losses, including a 4-2 defeat at Buffalo on Friday. Given their struggles this week, it's probably not a good time to face the Bruins, who've won all three of their games this week and allowed just two goals -- including back-to-back shutouts at home.
-- L.A. was 5-0-0 against Eastern Conference teams before beginning a four-game road trip with the loss in Buffalo. Dustin Brown
and Wayne Simmonds
twice gave the Kings one-goal leads, but they were unable to hang on. Thomas Vanek tied it late in the second, and third-period goals by Tim Connolly and Jochen Hecht sent the Kings to Boston with a three-game losing streak.
"It’s definitely not a good feeling, to say the least," center Anze Kopitar
said. "We’ve got to figure out how to turn this thing around real quick, before this ends up in a long losing streak. There’s a big two points up for grabs tomorrow, and we have to make sure we get them.”
-- Life is good again for Boston forward Milan Lucic. After an injury-plagued season in 2009-10, he's healthy, having fun -- and putting pucks in the net. He leads the Bruins with 10 goals, including the first three in Thursday's 4-0 victory against the Florida Panthers.
"I feel like I’m skating better and I feel like that’s what’s giving me my chances. And when I’m moving my feet, that’s when I feel like I’m most affective," Lucic told the Bruins' website. "I just feel confident every time I have an opportunity to score and I’m shooting the puck.
-- Kings forward Justin Williams
had his 11-game points streak snapped on Friday. … Lucic has 4 goals in his last two games and is 5-2-7 in his last five. … Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is 10-1-0 and leads the NHL with four shutouts.
-- Kings forward Scott Parse
is on IR and will have hip surgery next week. … Boston center David Krejci (concussion) is out. Another center, Marc Savard, is practicing without contact as he tries to come back after a severe concussion last season. He'll join the team for next week's two-game swing through Florida.
-- The Kings allowed a pair of power-play goals on Friday after surrendering only seven in their first 17 games. … The Bruins are 44-12-6-2 all-time against the Kings in Boston, though the Kings have won their last three visits to TD Garden.
-- Kings coach Terry Murray is hoping the hometown factor comes into play on this trip for his goaltenders. Milford, Conn., native Jonathan Quick
, who played his college hockey at Massachusetts, is expected to start against the Bruins, while Jonathan Bernier
, a native of Laval, Que., who played Friday, is scheduled to start Wednesday at Montreal -- his first professional appearance in his native province.