Kings Look To Bounce Back Against Bruins
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings hoped to find their scoring touch during their five-game homestand, but they’re still having trouble finding the back of the net.
Slumping Los Angeles looks to get back on track while dealing the Boston Bruins their fifth loss in six road games Friday night.
The Kings (26-13-5) are 1-5-1 in their last seven and have scored fewer than three goals in each defeat. Jarret Stoll scored 50 seconds into the third period Tuesday, but Los Angeles allowed the tying goal less than three minutes later before falling to Minnesota 2-1 in a shootout.
The Kings held a 40-17 shot advantage and have scored only four goals on 119 shots over their last three games. They beat Vancouver 3-1 on Saturday to open their homestand.
“We have to bear down. I keep saying it, but it was the story of the game,” Stoll said. “It’s a matter of putting the puck in the net and capitalizing on the opportunities, as opposed to just getting shots. Goalies are there to make saves – and we’re not making it hard enough on goaltenders right now.
“It doesn’t matter what the shot total is. The only thing that matters is the scoreboard.”
Jonathan Quick has stopped 43 of 45 shots in two starts since returning from a groin strain after making 16 saves against the Wild.
“We outplayed them for 60 minutes,” Quick said.
The Kings rank in the bottom third of the NHL with 2.45 goals per game, but they’ll face a Bruins team that has struggled on the road of late.
Boston (28-13-2) is coming off a 5-2 defeat at Anaheim on Tuesday despite giving up just 20 shots. Tuukka Rask made 15 saves while dropping to 1-2-0 with a 4.63 goals-against average in his last four starts away from home.
“I actually thought we played a great game, but you look at the scoreboard and it’s 5-2,” Rask said. “They didn’t have many chances, but they put them in the net. We took a couple penalties that ended up costing us, then we got that goal late and still battled.”
Daniel Paille and Dougie Hamilton scored, but the Ducks converted all three of their power plays.
“We have nobody but ourselves to blame on those,” coach Claude Julien said. “I thought we didn’t do a very good job there on the PK tonight. It set us back, but we battled right to the end, and I wish we would have had a better chance of tying that game up.”
Milan Lucic missed his first game of the season with an illness, though Julien refused to blame the defeat on having to shuffle his lines.
“I anticipate he’ll be fine for next game,” Julien said. “That’s certainly not the reason why we’re standing here with a loss because I thought our guys handled it well.”
Lucic scored in the most recent meeting March 24, 2012, in Boston’s 4-2 win over the Kings, who are 2 for 28 on the power play over their last 11.
Quick made 22 saves in the last meeting and is 5-2-0 with a 2.19 GAA in seven career starts against the Bruins.
Rask made 41 saves in a 3-0 victory Dec. 13, 2011, his only career start against Los Angeles.
Updated January 8, 2014