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PREVIEW: LA Kings visit Boston Bruins for Saturday matinee

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The last time LA visited Boston, they won the game on a faceoff shot where time magically stopped at the end of overtime.

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Boston Bruins
Sean Kuraly pulls a Superman off of Jonathan Quick.
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

PREVIEW

Just the Facts

Who: The Boston Bruins (29-17-8) host the Los Angeles Kings (23-27-4)

What: The B’s are 2-0-1 in the first week of February, most recently the shootout loss against the Rangers. Good so far. In the same timeframe, the Kings are 3-1-0, but it might just as easily have been 1-1-2, as they won in extra time twice. When two teams are this mercurial, it makes for either entertaining or frustrating hockey.

When: 1:00 PM ET

Where: TD Garden, Boston, MA

How to watch: FS-W, NESN

Rival SBN site: Jewels from the Crown

Know Your Enemy

Team Leaders

Goals: Anze Kopitar, 16

Assists: Drew Doughty is tied with Kopitar at 24

Points: Who else but Kopitar, 40

Game Notes

  • The Bruins’ loss this week was not a tightly-contested game that slipped away. The Bruins gave up two goals in the third to allow the Rangers to tie things, and though overtime was exciting, it was equally nail-biting frustrating. Boston needs more than a pick-me-up win against LA, they need to drill into their system.
  • With the Kings in tank mode, look for some players on their roster to be making their East Coast tryout. Not literally trying out, of course - just a preview that we might see some of these players in the East before the deadline has passed.
  • Now, I may be dating myself by using such an unfancy stat, but the Bruins are in the bottom half of the league in penalty kill effectiveness (18th, 79.5%; leader is Arizona at 84.8%). Renowned for their defensive structure and effectiveness for years (and under different coaching), one wonders where things went so sideways on special teams. (HINT: It may have gone towards power play scoring effectiveness, whcih is tied for second in the league at 27.1%.)
  • Coach Cassidy had this bit of optimism to share about moving his forward lines around, which figure to stick going into Saturday’s game: “Well [the first line is] not as fast, Danton doesn’t skate like Pasta, so we know that; Danton is a good defensive player so we’re gonna assume they can play against anybody, that we’re not giving up any defense there, but you’re right - he’s not Pasta, we don’t know if they’ll score as much right away simply because... he’s not Pasta, right? But. we hope Krejci and Pasta generate more, we won’t lose Pasta’s offense, it’ll just come from a different line.”