On Tuesday evening at the TD Garden the Boston Bruins were able to begin what they hope will be another extended winning streak, shutting down the Los Angeles Kings to the tune of a 3-0 victory. Backstopped by 41 saves from Tuukka Rask, –who recorded his 1st shutout since March– the B’s used two tallies from Brad Marchand and one more from Rich Peverley to leap frog the Crowns and win their second consecutive contest.
Unfortunately for supporters of the Staples Center’s “other tenant” — and despite the trade rumors, no I do not mean the Clippers — , the Kings looked dreadful for most of the evening. A mere twenty-four hours after GM Dean Lombardi announced his decision to fire head coach Terry Murray, the Kings were unable to respond, and dropped their fifth game in a row. Shutout for the 3rd time this season, Los Angeles 29th ranked offense couldn’t get anything past a flawless Tuukka Rask en route to their fifth straight loss. Playing through a transitional period such as this, with high levels of uncertainty surrounding the team, it’s coaches and management obviously an understandably difficult task. However, Kings’ netminder and Milford, CT native Jonathan Quick was not making any excuses for his team on Tuesday night:
“There is a lot of stuff going on, but there is no excuse. You can’t take stuff like that and call it a distraction, use it as a reason not to win the game.” – Jonathan Quick
It was only 6:32 into the game that the B’s would take the lead as Rich Peverley cashed in a beauty of a feed from Zach Hamill for his fifth goal of the season. A relatively uneventful first period would come and go with some back and forth play by both squads, and the score remaining 1-0 Boston. At the 7:43 mark of the second frame, it was Boston’s impressive prowess in the face-off dot that paid huge dividends as Brad Marchand snapped one past Quick after a clean win in the circle by Patrice Bergeron. Often the most underrated aspect of Bergeron’s all-around game is his proficiency in the face-off circle, something Marchand certainly understands the importance of:
“He’s if not the best, one of the top in the league. He’s very consistent every night. He’s very, very strong on the draws and it’s huge for our team. The amount we start with the puck because of how well he is on draws is, it’s a big thing.” – Brad Marchand
Early in the third, some hard work and battling in the corners once again paid off for Boston’s second line, as Bergeron and Marchand connected for the second time of the night. In what some might describe as a “typical Marchand goal”, the 6’1” winger dangled the puck onto his backhand and slipped it passed a downed Jonathan Quick. Boston’s third goal turned out to be more than enough for Rask, who continued to dominate the Los Angeles forwards, shutting the door each and every time the Kings had a chance to get on the board.
After tonight’s shutout and Saturday’s win in relief, Rask has won six of his last eight decisions.
“Well he was good tonight, arguably our best player tonight. He got better as the game went on and I thought he did a good job the other night coming in and kind of settling himself in in the third period and then he just carried that into tonight.” – Claude Julien
On a night when the B’s were without the services of their ever reliable captain Zdeno Chara, the performance of their goaltender was undoubtedly the most crucial factor to victory. Tuukka’s 41-save shutout tonight most definitely goes along way to solidifying no. 40′s spot on this team and perhaps earns the 24-year-old Finn a bit more playing time than usual. Normally goaltenders do not see action in both games of a back-to-back set, but when asked who would be in the Boston net tomorrow evening, Head Coach Claude Julien jokingly replied “That’s none of your business.”
From The Room:
LA Kings’ Jonathan Quick
Goals– LAK (0) BOS (3)
Shots– LAK (41) BOS (22)
Power-Play– LAK (0-5) BOS (0-3)
Penalty-Kill– LAK (3-3) BOS (5-5)
- Three Stars– ….. 3.) Rich Peverley ….. 2.) Brad Marchand ….. 1.) Tuukka Rask
It’ll be another quick turnaround for the Bruins as they will depart the Hub late Tuesday night on a flight to Ottawa. The Black and Gold are slated for a Wednesday evening contest against the Senators at ScotiaBank Place. The Kings will continue their four-game eastern swing as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday at the Nationwide Arena.
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About the Author: Boston Bruins writer for Hockey Independent. Have written for The Hockey Guys and SB Nation Boston. Follow me on Twitter @_BWoodward or shoot me an email at BWoodward.HI@gmail.com.