Bruins Seek Desperation Win Against Kings

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Bruins Seek Desperation Win Against KingsAfter a 2-1 loss at Buffalo on Friday night, the Bruins bring a six-game losing streak into Saturday’s tilt with the surging Kings, who have won four straight games and five straight on the road.

The Bruins probably deserved better on Friday night, outshooting the Sabres 31-23 and playing a hard-fought contest, but they have no time to feel sorry for themselves as they prepare to play a challenging Kings team.

WHEN AND WHERE

Saturday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m. (NESN)
TD Garden, Boston, Mass.

RECORDS

Bruins (23-21-8, 54 points, fourth place in Northeast Division, 12th place in Eastern Conference)
Kings (31-19-3, 65 points, third place Pacific Division, sixth place in Western Conference)

HEAD TO HEAD

This is the second and final meeting of the season between the Bruins and the Kings. The Kings beat the Bruins 4-3 in a shootout on Jan. 16.

The Bruins lead the all-time series 78-33-14-1.

SKINNY

The Bruins were held to one goal for the third straight game on Friday night and remain the lowest-scoring team in the NHL.

The Kings' Anze Kopitar got off to a roaring start this season but then faded through late November and December. Kopitar has found his groove again, however, with 14 points in 12 January games.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Bruins
Forwards
Milan Lucic–Marc Savard–Miroslav Satan
Daniel Paille–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Steve Begin/Byron Bitz–Vladimir Sobotka –Shawn Thornton


Defensemen
Zdeno Chara–Derek Morris
Matt Hunwick–Dennis Wideman
Mark Stuart–Johnny Boychuk/Adam McQuaid

Goaltenders

Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask
 
Kings
Forwards

Brad Richardson–Anze Kopitar–Wayne Simmonds
Ryan Smyth–Jarret Stoll–Dustin Brown
Alexander Frolov–Michal Handzus–Scott Parse
Teddy Purcell–Oscar Moller–Brandon Segal

Defenseman
Rob Scuderi–Drew Doughty
Matt Greene–Sean O’Donnell
Jack Johnson/ Davis Drewiske–Peter Harrold

Goaltenders

Jonathan Quick
Erik Ensberg

GOALTENDER MATCHUP

Bruins
Tim Thomas
is 13-14-6 with a 2.53 GAA and a .915 save percentage. Thomas has four shutouts and allowed four goals on 15 shots before being pulled in his last start, a 5-1 loss to Carolina Sunday.

Tuukka Rask is 10-7-2 with a 2.13 GAA and a .925 save percentage. He is third in the NHL in GAA and fifth in save percentage. Rask has two shutouts and stopped 21 of 23 shots on Friday night. He has lost his last four starts.

Kings
Jonathan Quick
is 29-16-3 with a 2.56 GAA and a .907 save percentage. The former UMass Amherst netminder is third in wins and has one shutout. Along with Thomas and Ryan Miller of Buffalo, Quick will be one of three USA Olympic goalies.

Erik Ensberg
is 2-3-0 with a 3.21 GAA and a .882 save percentage. Ensberg made 34 saves in his last start but the Kings lost 2-1 to the Sharks on Jan. 11.

STAT SHEET

Bruins
Patrice Bergeron
leads the team in points (12 goals, 21 assists) with 33.

Marc Savard had an immediate impact on Friday, his first game back since Jan. 7, when he suffered a partially torn MCL. Savard assisted on the Bruins' lone goal by Milan Lucic and now has 14 helpers and 23 points this season.

Milan Lucic scored the Bruins' lone goal on Friday night and now has three lamp-lighters and eight points this season.

Zdeno Chara had an assist on Friday night and leads the team in the category with 25. Chara also leads the defense in assists and points with 29.

The Bruins' penalty killed off three of four Buffalo power plays on Friday night. The unit has allowed 24 goals on 187 power plays faced and is tied for second in the NHL with the Sabres with a 87.4 percent success rate.

The Bruins' power play was 0-for-1on Friday night and is 0-for-21 over the last nine games. The unit is 29-for-168 with a 17.3 percent success rate this season.

Kings
Anze Kopitar leads the Kings in goals with 22 and in points with 53. Kopitar scored two goals in the Kings’ 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets Thursday and has seven points in his last four games.

Dustin Brown has four assists in his last two games and 25 helpers this season. Brown is second on the team in points with 37.

Defenseman Drew Doughty has three points in his last two games and is second on the team in points with 41.

The Kings were 1-for-1 on the power play Thursday and are 38-for-205 this season with an 18.5 percent success rate.

The Kings killed off three Columbus power plays Thursday and have allowed 40 goals on 196 power plays faced with 79.6 percent success rate.

BLACK AND BLUE

Bruins
Andrew Ference
is still expected to be out until after the Olympics with an injured groin.

Steve Begin has missed the last five games with an undisclosed injury but has practiced with the team the last three days and is a game-time decision.

Marco Sturm missed his sixth consecutive game Friday with a leg injury. Sturm is aiming for a return sometime in the coming week.

Kings
Davis Drewiske
, who has been out since Jan. 4 with a shoulder injury, has been cleared to play and is a game-time decision.

Justin Williams is on injured reserve with a broken ankle. He is expected to be out until at least late March.

Andrei Loktionov is on injured reserve with a dislocated shoulder. He is expected to be out of action until at least March.

THIS DAY IN BRUINS HISTORY

On Jan. 30, 1975, Bobby Orr notches a hat trick and an assist while Johnny "Chief" Bucyk scores his 1,200th NHL point in a 6-0 win over the California Seals.

OVERHEARD

''We all know we're in a position right now where we have to control our destiny — and to do it, we have to win hockey games.''
–Bruins head coach Claude Julien, after Friday's loss at Buffalo

PRESS BOX

Bruins
The Bruins suffered their sixth straight loss Friday night.

Could Aaron Ward be coming back to Boston?

Jack Edwards says the taste of frustration is growing more intense for the Bruins.

Kings
Rich Hammond
is one of a growing number of the team's beat writers. Check out his great blog.

Drew Doughty deserves to be on the Canadian Olympic squad.

NHL
One of the reasons Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli won’t deal Toronto’s 2010 first round draft pick is the immediate impact of top picks over the last 10 years.

Phil Coffey of NHL.com breaks down who may be the buyers and sellers heading into the NHL trade deadline March 3.

OUTLOOK

The effort was there for Bruins on Friday night, but a few mental lapses and undisciplined penalties cost them. Such is the case when the offense is anemic. If the B's don’t capitalize on chances, they will continue to lose despite working hard.

Against the Kings, it will be essential to jump on any chances or take any shots when they have the open lane. Jonathan Quick uses his size well, but if the Bruins forwards create traffic and bother him throughout the game, they can create chances. They just need to find a way to convert them.

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