The Los Angeles Kings have seen their fortunes at Staples Center take a turn for the worse during their five-game homestand. Los Angeles looks to end a three-game slide on home ice when it hosts the Boston Bruins on Thursday.
The Kings went 5-0-2 over their first seven at Staples Center but have begun their homestand with three straight losses, including a 3-2 setback against Vancouver on Tuesday. Los Angeles squandered an early 2-0 lead in the defeat, but Anze Kopitar remained hot as the captain scored a power-play goal to give him three tallies and eight assists during his career-high nine-game point streak. While the Kings have hit the skids at home, Boston has been consistently abysmal on the road this season. The Bruins fell to 0-3-2 in their last five and 1-4-2 overall away from home when they kicked off their four-game road trip Wednesday with a 4-1 loss at Anaheim.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, NESN (Boston), FSN West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE BRUINS (6-7-4): David Pastrnak leads the team in goals (10) and points (17) but is in a mini-slump he hopes to end Thursday. The 21-year-old Czech has been kept off the scoresheet in each of his last two contests after registering four goals and two assists during a four-game point streak. David Krejci, who has missed 11 games with a back injury, has been deemed “probable” for Thursday’s contest by coach Bruce Cassidy.
ABOUT THE KINGS (11-5-2): Los Angeles could have Jussi Jokinen in the lineup after acquiring the veteran left wing from Edmonton on Tuesday for Mike Cammalleri. The 34-year-old Finn notched one assist over 14 games in his first season with the Oilers and has collected 186 goals and 547 points in 905 career contests with six teams. Center Andrew Crescenzi made his NHL debut against the Canucks, going 5-3 on faceoffs in just over seven minutes of ice time after being recalled from Ontario of the American Hockey League earlier in the day.
1. Kings RW Dustin Brown is second on the team with 18 points and has recorded two goals and three assists during his four-game point streak.
2. While Krejci could be back in Boston’s lineup, LWs Brad Marchand (concussion) and Anders Bjork (undisclosed) will not as neither accompanied the team to California.
3. Kopitar is six assists away from 500 for his career.
PREDICTION: Kings 4, Bruins 2