However, with help from a struggling power play and scoring from
the blue line, the Kings posted their highest goal total of 2014 on
Winger Justin Williams celebrated his 800th NHL game with a goal and
an assist, and goaltender Jonathan Quick made 20 saves as the Los
Angeles Kings defeated the Boston Bruins 4-2.
The Kings (27-13-5) bounced back from a shootout loss to the
Minnesota Wild on Tuesday. In the win over Boston, Los Angeles got
goals from wingers Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and defenseman Alec
Brown, who suffered through an unproductive first half of the
season, scored in two of the past three games.
"I was in a pretty bad funk," he said. "I don't know if it was
physical, mental or a combination of both, but my game is finally
getting back to the level I expect."
Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter asked for more production from his
depth players earlier in the week, among them Martinez. The
defenseman's third goal of the season was his first since he scored
against the San Jose Sharks on Dec. 19. Martinez's improved play has
moved veteran defenseman Matt Greene out of the lineup.
"We work on shooting by the defenseman, and this time it worked,"
Martinez said. "It was a great pass by Robyn Regehr, who played it
right into my wheelhouse."
Boston (28-14-2) lost for the fourth time in six games and remained
two points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the lead in the
Atlantic Division. Wingers Matt Fraser and Justin Florek scored the
Bruins' goals. Goalie Tuukka Rask took the loss, stopping 15 of 18
Los Angeles shots before being pulled in the second period.
Bruins coach Claude Julien knows his team's uncharacteristic poor
defensive play needs to cease if Boston is to hold off the Lightning
in a surprising division race. The Bruins entered the game tied with
Los Angeles for the fewest goals against in the NHL, but they
surrendered too many scoring chances to win the game.
"We're shooting ourselves in the foot the way we are going," Julien
said. "It's pretty simple, we need to have better puck management."
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara feels that the team's poor performance
of late is just a valley that all teams go through during the course
of a long season.
"I think we know we can be better," Chara said. "We know we
will get back to our game if we are patient, but it is not going
to happen overnight."
[to top of second column]
Los Angeles took a commanding 3-0 lead with two goals inside the
first two minutes of the middle frame. Williams scored his 14th
goal of the season on the power play at the 44-second mark, and
Martinez's wrist shot eluded Rask at 1:45. Bruins coach Claude
Julien decided to pull Rask in favor of Chad Johnson immediately
after Martinez's goal.
Boston sliced the deficit to two when Fraser beat Quick with a
slap shot off an odd-man rush at 9:55 of the second period, with
center Carl Soderberg and defenseman Dougie Hamilton drawing the
assists. Though the Bruins gained momentum from the score, they
could not edge closer through two periods.
The Kings regained their three-goal margin when Brown beat
Johnson with a snap shot with 7:38 remaining in regulation.
Center Jarrett Stoll gained possession and fed Brown along the
Florek's first NHL goal with 2:13 left provided the final score,
with defenseman Johnny Boychuk and center Gregory Campbell
drawing assists. Florek was recalled from Boston's AHL
Providence affiliate Monday on an emergency basis, and Thursday
was his second game.
Carter began the scoring with his team-leading 15th goal of the
season at 10:32 of the opening period. Boychuk turned over the
puck deep in his own zone, where Kings forward Anze Kopitar took
possession and fed Carter. A first attempt was stopped by Rask,
but it rebounded directly back to Carter, and he converted a
Johnson stopped 16 of the 17 shots he faced.
NOTES: Boston scratched LW Shawn Thornton, RW Jordan Caron and D
Kevan Miller. ... The Bruins wind up their three-game West Coast
road trip Saturday with a visit to San Jose. ... Due to the
recent rash of injuries to hit the club, six Boston players made
their NHL debut this season, the most in any season since
2006-07. ... Los Angeles did not dress D Matt Greene, LW Tanner
Pearson and RW Jordan Nolan. ... Kings RW Justin Williams played
in his 800th NHL game. Williams is in his sixth seasons in Los
Angeles and is the current team leader in consecutive games
played (175). ... Los Angeles LW Dwight King and RW Tyler
Toffoli both have nine-game goalless streaks. The pair last
scored in a 4-1 victory over San Jose on Dec. 19.
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