With every passing game, it is becoming more and more evident that the Boston Bruins are missing Dennis Seidenberg.
For the second game in a row, the Bruins gave up the first three goals of the game and were unable to mount a serious comeback, losing to the Los Angeles Kings 4-2 on Thursday night. U.S. Olympic goalie Jonathan Quick had 20 saves for the Kings, who gave the Bruins their fifth loss in their last six road games. The B's had to use both of their goalies in this contest, as Tuukka Rask was replaced by Chad Johnson early in the second period after Rask allowed three goals in just 21:45 of ice time.
The Kings were able to score their first goal of the night on yet another turnover by a Bruins' defenseman in their own end of the ice. After Johnny Boychuk whiffed on a cross-ice pass to line-mate Adam McQuaid, Jeff Carter struck for the first goal of the game just past the halfway point in the first period. Anze Kopitar picked up the loose puck from Boychuk, and found Carter for a quick wrist shot which was initially stopped by Bruins' goalie Tuukka Rask, with the rebound going right back to Carter for his 16th goal of the season.
Another turnover by the Bruins in their own end late in the first period led to the Kings' second power play opportunity of the game. Carter forced a loose puck from the stick of Zdeno Chara, and after Carter dangled the puck in front of the Bruins' net he feed a streaking Kopitar, who was immediately tripped by Dougie Hamilton for the two-minute penalty. While the Kings did not capitalize on the man-advantage, which ended around 30 seconds into the second period, they were right back on the power-play thanks to a silly mistake by Hamilton.
Hamilton played the puck with his stick prior to him fully exiting the penalty box, which is considered an interference penalty. It took the Kings just 18 seconds to make it 2-0, as Justin Williams found a seam in the Bruins penalty kill unit for a wrist shot past Rask.
The nightmare road trip for Tuukka Rask continued just 61 seconds later, when Alec Martinez scored on a one-timer slap shot to make it 3-0, ending the night for Rask. Rask gave up three goals on 18 shots on goal against the Kings, along with five goals on just 20 shots during Tuesday night's loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Chad Johnson replaced Rask in net for the Bruins. Johnson last played on December 28th versus the Ottawa Senators, when he also replaced Rask during the second period after Rask surrendered three goals on just 12 shots.
The Bruins looked like they were dead to rites in the second period, getting totally outplayed by the Kings until Matt Fraser took a terrific feed from Carl Soderberg to beat Kings' goalie Jonathan Quick to make it 3-1 at the halfway point in the period. Dougie Hamilton picked up a loose puck from a turnover by Justin Williams. The Bruins had a quick 3-on-2 opportunity, with both Fraser and Soderberg coming hard into the Kings' zone. Soderberg found Fraser to the left of Quick for a one-timer blast for his second goal of the season.
After a pretty competitive first twelve minutes of the third period, the Kings' captain took matters into his own hands and gave his squad another three goal lead. A clean faceoff win and a couple easy passes led to a scoring chance for Dustin Brown, who buried a quick shot top shelf on Chad Johnson for his ninth goal of the season.
With Brad Richards in the penalty box for cross-checking with 4:31 left in the third, the Bruins failed to capitalize on the power play but struck in the "vulnerable minute" after the power play ended. Justin Florek, who was in the lineup for the third straight game after being called up from Providence, tipped in a Johnny Boychuk slap shot for his first career NHL goal with just over two minutes left. The Bruins pulled goalie Chad Johnson with over a minute left in the game, but were not able to get any closer than 4-2.
The Bruins will try to end their three game West Coast road trip on a positive note when they clash with old friend Joe Thornton and the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night. The B's will get Shawn Thornton back from his 15-game suspension on Saturday night, and could also see Loui Eriksson return to the ice from his second concussion of the season.