Game 45; 27-13-5
LOS ANGELES - It was a battle of two recent Stanley Cup champions and on this night, it was the more recent champs who came away with the two points.
Entering Thursday's contest, the Los Angeles Kings were not only looking to rebound from their shootout loss to Minnesota on Tuesday but to generate some much-needed offense against the Boston Bruins. They got it from four different players on this night.
The Kings waited until just past the halfway point of the first to get the Staples faithful going. At the 10:32 mark to be exact, Jeff Carter took a great feed from Anze Kopitar before burying his team-leading 16th past Boston's Tuukka Rask.
While that was all the scoring in the first, the Kings wasted no time adding to the lead in the second. Just 44 seconds in (and 18 seconds into a power play), Justin Williams wristed his 14th past Rask to put the home team up by a pair. Slava Voynov and Jonathan Quick picked up assists on the goal. It's also notable to mention that this was Williams's 800th-career NHL game.
If that weren't enough, just 1:01 later, Alec Martinez teed a point shot past Rask for his fourth to put the silver-and-black up by a field goal. Robyn Regehr and Mike Richards got the assists. With the goal, the end of Tuukka Rask's evening arrived as the Finnish Olympian was pulled in favour of Chad Johnson.
The goaltending change seemed to help a bit as Matt Fraser potted his second at the 9:55 mark of the middle frame to put the Bruins on the board. But that was all they could muster as Jonathan Quick made some key saves to keep the Kings up by a pair.
In the third, captain Dustin Brown addressed his scoring slump, scoring his ninth to regain the three-goal lead. Jarret Stoll got an assist along with Justin Williams who notched his second point of the game with the helper.
Justin Florek scored his first-career NHL goal late to cut the lead in half but it wasn't enough as the Los Angeles Kings return to the win column and earn points in their last three outings.
Overall, a great showing by the Kings. While their road record isn't quite as impressive as their mark on home ice, the Boston Bruins are nonetheless one of the best teams in hockey and for the Kings to shut them down the way they did certainly is a testament to both the team's defense and goaltending.
A lack of discipline has hurt the Kings in recent outings but not on this night. The Kings had just three penalties all game and despite some pressure from the Bruins' attack, killed them off fairly easily.
It was a big night for Justin Williams who, as previously mentioned, played in his 800th-career NHL game. He celebrated with a goal and an assist.
While Mike Richards's goalless drought continues, he did assist on what turned out to be the game-winning goal. So, while he may not be directly lighting the lamp, the veteran is nevertheless contributing.
Then, there's Jonathan Quick who stopped 20 shots en route to the win, the 162nd of his career. With the victory, Quick pulls to within 10 games of Rogie Vachon's franchise record of 171 W's. No. 32 even looked spectacular along the way making a number of key saves en route to the two points.
Thursday's effort is what the Kingdom would prefer to see on a regular basis, and that includes Saturday night as the silver-and-black hope to create another winning streak at the expense of the Detroit Red Wings.