Live Blog: Bruins vs. Kings

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Live Blog: Bruins vs. KingsPost-game analysis: While they certainly had their mental lapses and defensive breakdowns, you have to feel for them as they followed up a tough 2-1 loss at Buffalo with another spirited effort and still couldn't come away with the win.

The point in the standings helps but as I write this, the Bruins still remain out of a playoff spot and can finish the night no higher than ninth in the Eastern Conference. They need those extra points and it has to be frustrating after leading early in the third period. They once again had a win within their grasp but let it slip aside. Unfortunately, the Bruins faced another hot goalie in Jonathan Quick, who finished with 30 saves and stopped four of the six shootout attempts he faced as Michael Ryder and Marc Savard were the only ones to beat Quick.

On the other hand, Tim Thomas played a solid game making 27 saves but was unable to make one final one on the Jarett Stoll game-winning shootout goal. Ryan Smyth and Anze Kopitar also beat Thomas in the shootout.

One thing that seems to be a constant and growing problem is the Bruins focus after they have a power play and in the case of this game, score a power-play goal. Twice, the Bruins took penalties within two minutes of scoring a goal on the power play and the second time led to Anze Kopitar's game-tying goal in the third period. There just needs to be better focus and discipline throughout as it is costing them dearly.

We'll close with some positives here and that's the return of Marco Sturm who scored a goal in his first game back since January 14. Strum was a factor out there and that has to be an encouraging sign to a goal-starved offense. Another good sign was the two power-play goals. They need to get that going if they're going to get into the playoffs.

It doesn't get any easier from here as the Bruins welcome Alexander Ovechkin and the Conference-leading Capitals on Tuesday and then their arch-rivals the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday. Thanks for reading and have a great night!

End of shootout and game, Kings win 3-2: Jarret Stoll beat Tim Thomas in the sixth round of the shootout after Patrice Bergeron couldn't score on Jonathan Quick and the Kings prevent the Bruins from getting their first win since Jan. 14. They have now lost seven straight and are 1-8-2 in their last eleven.

End of overtime, 2-2: For the second time in two weeks, these two teams will battle it out in a shootout to decide a winner. The Bruins are hoping what started this six-game losing streak ends it as they lost in a shootout Jan. 16 to start the six-game skid.

Overtime, 2:21, 2-2: Lots of back and forth action here in overtime and the crowd is really into it.

End of regulation, 2-2: The Bruins will get a point for the first time since losing to the Kings in a shootout two weeks ago as we're headed to overtime. But this team needs two points and needs a win. No more settling for a point.

Third period, 1:30, 2-2: The fans should get a head start on tomorrow's Celtics-Lakers game and start the "Beat LA" chants now.

Third period, 5:00, 2-2: Bruins fans breaking out into a "Let's Go Bruins" chant and really trying to rally the team here.

Third period, 9:08, 2-2: Vladimir Sobotka was a healthy scratch and it was a no-brainer someone on the fourth line had to sit with Marco Sturm and Steve Begin back but one scout just asked me why Sobotka? As the scout pointed out, he has worked hard in every game and been a physical presence on most nights when others haven't. Could there be more to that than a numbers game?

Third period, 11:31, 2-2: The Kings seemed to have stopped the Bruins' momentum with that last goal. That was a tough penalty for David Krejci to take right after the Bruins had scored.

Third period, 15:31, 2-2: Anze Kopitar just tied the game with a power-play goal and his second point of the night. The Kings are 2-for-5 now.

Michal Handzus and probably one of the most-hated opposing players in Bruins' history, Randy Jones got the helpers. Jones of course was the one who hit Patrice Bergeron from behind on October 27, 2007 giving Bergeron a grade 3 concussion that forced him to miss the rest of the 2007-08 season.

Third period, 16:48, Bruins 2-1: David Krejci is in the penalty box and for the second straight time, the Kings go on a power play after the Bruins score a power-play goal. Also, referee Eric Furlatt had to be helped off the ice after suffering a leg injury.

Third period, 18:40, Bruins 2-1: The Bruins have scored another power-play goal and are 2-for-7 on the night. More importantly, the Bruins take their first lead of the night with Mark Recchi's tenth goal of the season and his 193rd career power-play goal, which moves him into third all-time amongst active players.

The goal was a beautiful give-and-go play started by Recchi, who dished it off to David Krejci and just finished it off in front on a nic pass by Krejci.

End of second period, 1-1: Scott Parse was called for tripping with 20.4 seconds left and the Bruins will start the third period on their seventh power play. They're 1-for-6.

A much better period for the Bruins and now the question is: can they continue it into the final frame and get their first win since Jan. 14? Converting on this power play would be a good starting point for that but they must also play better on the fore-check and with more emotion like they showed in that second period.

Great to see Marco Sturm back and contributing already, now if the rest of the lineup can follow suit, the Bruins may get going here. This healthy lineup should make it easier for Peter Chiarelli to evaluate what he has and needs heading into the trade deadline March 3.

Second period, 3:24, 1-1: Welcome back Marco Sturm! The Bruins have tied the game on a Sturm power-play goal and the "Sturmie" face is back!

Sturm gets his 16th of the season in his first game back since Jan. 14 with Marc Savard getting the assist.The referee should get one as well for taking a puck off his back and keeping a the play in the offensive zone for the Bruins. 

Marc Savard just got called for hooking in a very untimely penalty. Let's see if the Bruins can keep the momentum.

Second period, 4:52, Kings 1-0: The Bruins will be going on their sixth power play as Brandon Segal is headed to the penalty box. The Bruins are 0-for-5.

Second period, 6:28, Kings 1-0: Lots of scouts in attendance here as we get closer to the deadline and all of them are wondering what Peter Chiarelli will do to improve his struggling squad?

One scout said that he actually thinks the Kings (whose GM Dean Lombardi is also here), are closing in on Ilya Kovalchuk, whom the Bruins are reportedly coveting.

Second period, 8:12, Kings 1-0: The Bruins just played some of the best hockey they have played in a while but once again the power play couldn't convert and some golden chances went by the wayside. They're 0-for-5 on the power play now.

Second period, 11:31, Kings 1-0: Former Boston College defenseman Rob Scuderi was called for cross-checking and the Bruins have a two-man advantage for 30 seconds.

Second period, 14:23, Kings 1-0: Tim Thomas just got called for roughing and the power play has been cut in half.

Second period, 15:02, Kings 1-0: In what has become an unfortunate trend in the NHL, Mark Stuart lays a thunderous but legal hit on Anze Kopitar but then has to fight because of it. A mini-donnybrook broke out after the hit and this TD Garden crowd is alive! Thankfully Wayne Simmonds gets an extra four minutes in penalties for instigating the fight with Stuart. Bruins on a four-minute power play.

Second period, 17:34, Kings 1-0: The Bruins catch a break there as Wayne Simmonds' stick was ruled too high and the goal was called back. Can the Bruins' gain some momentum off that?

Second period, 17:34, Kings 1-0: Wayne Simmonds may have given the Kings a two-goal lead here but the play is under review as Simmonds' stick appeared to be too high.

End of first period, Kings 1-0: And the beat goes on for the Bruins as they trail by one goal after the opening frame. This was another period full of frustration as the Bruins had their chances, namely an open net Milan Lucic missed and two power plays, and they can't find the back of the net.

Earlier during warmups the in-house DJ played "Message In A Bottle" by The Police and that may as well be for Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli as he surely has many messages out to fellow GMs looking for scoring help. The problem is so do many other teams and that help may not come as soon as the Bruins would like.

For now, with a healthy lineup, the Bruins will need to find the goals themselves and get this anemic power play going.

First period, 3:30, Kings 1-0: The Bruins killed off that L.A. power play but as I said, they're once again having a very undisciplined first period, just as they did last night when they allowed three Buffalo power plays, one of which led to the game-winning goal by Thomas Vanek.

First period, 6:09, Kings 1-0: Mark Stuart is in the penalty box for slashing and the Kings go right back on the power play. Lots of undisciplined play by the Bruins here in the opening frame.

First period, 7:54, Kings 1-0: Dustin Brown just scored a power-play goal and the Bruins are trailing after failing to score on their second power play. Anze Kopitar and Jarett Stoll had the helpers. Milan Lucic was in the box for cross-checking.

First period, 11:54: Ryan Smyth is in the penalty box for tripping and the Bruins head on their second power play. They're 0-for-1.

First period, 13:41: The Habs moved into the eighth slot in the Eastern Conference playoff race today by erasing a late 2-0 deficit but losing in overtime.

They suffered a huge blow to their offense though as Mike Cammalleri appeared to suffer ligament damage in his knee.The Bruins play Montreal twice in the next week, Thursday here and then Super Bowl Sunday at the Bell Centre. Those will be huge point swings in the standings!

First period, 15:24: The Bruins failed to score on their first power play and are 0-for-1. Lively crowd here at TD Garden as they try to help the Bruins climb out of this rut.

First period, 19:21: Drew Doughty is in the sin-bin for hooking and the Bruins are on their first power play early here in the first period.

6:55: Marco Sturm and Steve Begin will play as both skated through warm-up's with the Bruins. For Sturm, this would be his first game since January 14 at San Jose. Ironically that was the last time the Bruins won, so maybe Sturm playing is a sign that the Bruins will snap out of their slump?

There is no definite word on Sturm but he looked good during warm-up's skating with Patrice Bergeron and Mark Recchi. Begin meanwhile was centering Daniel Paille and Byron Bitz. If Begin and Sturm play, Shawn Thornton and Vladimir Sobotka would be the scratches. Adam MacQuaid is the scratch on defense.

Here's the projected lineup:

Forwards
Milan Lucic–Marc Savard–Miroslav Satan
Marco Sturm–Patrice Bergeron–Mark Recchi
Blake Wheeler–David Krejci–Michael Ryder
Daniel Paille–Steve Begin–Byron Bitz

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

Goaltenders
Tim Thomas
Tuukka Rask

4:49 p.m.: Naoko Funayama tweeted that "Marco Sturm skated this morning and says he will try to play today vs Kings. No word yet on Steve Begin."

The reeling Bruins (23-21-8, 54 points) welcome in the surging Kings (31-19-3, 65 points) Saturday night at the TD Garden. To say this a must-win for the Bruins is an understatement, because the B's really need to break their current six-game losing streak. It won't be easy against a Kings team that has won four straight overall and five straight on the road.

After being stonewalled by Ryan Miller (30 saves) in Friday night's 2-1 loss at Buffalo, the Bruins will have to solve another elite goaltender in Olympian and UMass Amherst product Jonathan Quick, who is 29-16-3 with a 2.56 GAA and a .907 save percentage. It could be an Olympic goalie showdown, as Tim Thomas (13-14-6 with a 2.53 GAA and a .915 save percentage) is expected to start for the Bruins after Tuukka Rask got the nod Friday.

The Bruins are tied for the 12th spot in the Eastern Conference, but a win could propel them into sole possession of seventh place in a very tight playoff race. But if that is to happen, the Bruins will need to find a way to start scoring, as they've been held to one goal in each of their last three games. Trade rumors continue to circulate around this floundering squad, but the current roster needs to dig deep and find some confidence because no one player can pull them out of this rut. It will take a team effort.

Marco Sturm will not play, but Steve Begin could return from a lower-body injury. Jack Johnson (arm) and Davis Drewiske (shoulder) are game-time decisions for the Kings.

Here are the expected lineups:

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

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

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

Goaltenders

Jonathan Quick
Erik Ensberg

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