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Preview: Bruins return home for face-off against Kings

A repeat of last Monday’s match would be nice, wouldn’t it?

Boston Bruins v Los Angeles Kings Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Just the facts

When: Tonight, 7:00 PM

Where: TD Garden – Boston, MA

How to follow: NESN, TVAS, 98.5 The Sports Hub

Rival SBN site: Jewels From The Crown

Know your enemy

  • 31-19-7, 69PTS, 2nd in Pacific Division
  • Anze Kopitar: 57GP, 15G, 36A, 51PTS; Viktor Arvidsson: 50GP, 18G, 20A, 38PTS; Adrian Kempe: 54GP, 25G, 11A, 36PTS
  • Jonathan Quick: 15-11-6, 2.68 GAA, .908 save percentage

Game notes

  • The Boston Bruins are back home tonight against the Los Angeles Kings as they open a three-game homestand after their successful road trip!
  • The B’s return to Boston after a two-week trip out West where they went 5-1-0. It’s been a good stretch for the team as they’ve picked up 14 points in eight games, posting a 7-1-0 record since February 19.
  • Besides building confidence, the road trip helped distance the Bruins in the wild card and inch them closer to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the divisional race. Those 10 points earned now have them two points behind the Maple Leafs in the Atlantic and three points ahead of the Washington Capitals in the first wild-card position with the Columbus Blue Jackets 13 points out of a spot.
  • It’s only been a week since the Bruins last saw the Kings and boy, was that a good one! Last Monday, the Bruins blanked the Kings 7-0. Jake DeBrusk scored a natural hat trick, while Erik Haula picked up two goals. Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Hall added the other tallies. Jeremy Swayman made 34 saves.
  • It’s unclear who will get the start tonight against the Kings, but Bruce Cassidy did mention how his goaltender rotation is trending towards seeing more Swayman action. Swayman made four starts on the road trip, including the Kings’ game. He’s now on a six-game win streak and has helped the B’s pick up points in his last eight starts.
  • The Bruins’ forwards racked up points during the road trip! DeBrusk, David Pastrnak and Haula led the team with eight points each. DeBrusk had six goals and two assists in the six games, while Pastrnak registered four goals and four assists. Pastrnak’s eight points added to his eight-game point streak of seven goals and five assists. Haula registered at least a point in each game with three goals and five assists overall. Brad Marchand accumulated seven points during the stretch.
  • The B’s top six forwards accounted for 73% of goals scored during the six games. The second line combined for a total of 20 points. Along with Hall’s one goal and four assists, they had eight goals and 13 assists. The top line accumulated 11 goals and nine assists during the stretch.
  • The Kings have been on the road since last seeing the Bruins. Tonight will conclude their four-game road trip. Heading into the game, they are 2-1-0 on the trip. LA opened their trip with a 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars on March 2 as they couldn’t recover from a four-goal second period from the Stars. On March 4, the Kings fell behind the Blue Jackets heading into the final frame. The Kings rallied in the third period to tie the game and ultimately defeat the Blue Jackets, 4-3 in overtime, on Arvidsson’s third goal.
  • LA last played yesterday afternoon against the Buffalo Sabres. The game was scoreless after the first and it wasn’t until late in the second period that Andreas Athanasiou put the Kings on the board. LA then scored twice in the game’s final minute for the 3-0 shutout win on another goal from Athanasiou and one from Dustin Brown.
  • So far during each night of their road trip, the Kings have seen a multi-goal night from a different forward. Arthur Kaliyev had two goals on March 2. Arvidsson had a three-point game on a hat trick on March 4, while Athanasiou had two goals in yesterday’s win.
  • The Kings are 1/4 on the power play and 86% on their penalty kill during these road games. The Bruins enter tonight’s game having went 20% on the power play and 71% on the penalty kill during their recent road trip, both of which are lower than their seasonal average of 24.5% (PP) and 81% (PK).

See ya tonight!