Bruins beat Kings to end four-game skid
LOS ANGELES — The Boston Bruins knew they could not rely on one or two players to pull them out of their four-game losing streak. They needed a wide-ranging effort to beat the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday night.
They got what they came for behind goals from 19-year defenseman Charlie McAvoy and 40-year-old defenseman Zdeno Chara in a 2-1 victory over the Kings at Staples Center.
Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask also stepped up with 27 saves a night after he allowed four goals on 27 shots in a 4-2 loss at the Anaheim Ducks.
“Everybody contributed,” Boston coach Bruce Cassidy said. “We really didn’t have to shorten our bench, or weren’t worried about certain individuals. ... I don’t think we did anything fancy, or that required a great individual effort.”
Drew Doughty scored a power-play goal and Jonathan Quick made 28 saves for the Kings (11-6-2), who lost their fourth straight game and fifth in a row at home for the first time since the opening month of the 2008-09 season.
Los Angeles was the last NHL team to lose in regulation this season, and beat the Bruins in overtime on Oct. 28 to improve to 9-1-1.
“I thought there was some progress in some areas of our game, for sure. It’s just got to be across the board,” Kings coach John Stevens said. “There can’t be ebbs and flows to our game. It’s got to be four lines, six D. That’s the way we’re going to win.”
Chara broke a 1-1 tie one second after a holding penalty ended on Kings center Anze Kopitar, his first penalty of the season.
The 6-foot-9 Chara took a slap shot from the left point, and the puck went off the blade of Kings forward Trevor Lewis and past Quick at 13:16 of the second period.
The Kings had tied the score at 4:33 of the second.
A hard hit by Kings defenseman Christian Folin on Boston forward Danton Heinen at center ice led to roughing penalties on Folin and Bruins forwards David Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron, putting Los Angeles on its third power play.
Kopitar brought the puck into the Boston zone and passed to Jussi Jokinen on his left. Jokinen, playing his first game with the Kings following his trade from the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, took the puck deep and then passed it back into the high slot to Doughty, who beat Rask on his glove side with a hard wrist shot.
“He looked comfortable out there,” Stevens said of Jokinen. “He’s a veteran guy that’s got good smarts.”
The Bruins (7-7-4) had taken a 1-0 lead at 16:06 of the first period following a faceoff win by Bergeron in the Los Angeles zone. The puck went back to McAvoy just inside the blue line, and he skated unchecked through the right circle and up to the crease, where he backhanded the puck high into the net for his second goal this season.
Cassidy said it was good to see McAvoy step up in the absence of teammate Torey Krug, the team’s top-scoring defenseman who sat out with an upper-body injury that occurred in the third period against the Ducks on Wednesday.
“We want him to be involved more offensively within his limits. He has to find out those limits in the league,” Cassidy said. “He’s young and he’s going to figure it out as he goes along. He’s only going to get better, that’s the scary part.”
Stevens said he was disappointed with how the Kings started the game, generating just five shots on goal against a team playing the second game in two nights.
“I just didn’t think we were winning enough battles along the wall in either zone,” he said. “To me, that was the difference in the hockey game.”
NOTES: Bruins C David Krejci returned after missing the past 11 games with a back injury. Krejci was the third-leading scorer for the Bruins last season with 54 points (23 goals, 31 assists). He did not have a shot on goal in 17:51 of ice time. ... Bruins LW Matt Beleskey was a healthy scratch after finishing as the only Boston player without a shot on goal against the Ducks. ... The Kings recalled C Jonny Brodzinski from Ontario of the American Hockey League on Thursday, and C Michael Amadio was sent down. ... Jussi Jokinen became the first player from Finland to play for the Kings since Lauri Tukonen played three games in the 2006-07 season and one in 2007-08.