The Boston Bruins kick off the start of a much-needed four-game homestand on Tuesday when they host the Los Angeles Kings.
The Bruins fell to 1-4-1 in their last six contests after losing three of their last four on the road.
Boston sports a 12-1-5 record at home, however, with its only regulation loss coming in its last game on TD Garden ice on Dec. 7 against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Kings, meanwhile, have lost more games on the road than any other Western Conference team (4-12-2). Los Angeles, however, has won three of its last four overall (3-0-1).
The Bruins have defeated the Kings in four of their last five meetings. The two teams will square off again in Los Angeles on March 19.
Boston ended a five-game winless streak (0-4-1) when it posted a 4-2 victory over Florida on Saturday.
David Pastrnak scored twice in that game to extend his league lead to 28 goals, and Brad Marchand set up a pair of tallies to reach 50 points on the season (18 goals, 32 assists).
However, the story postgame was a revamped second line that accounted for two goals. Jake DeBrusk and David Krejci each collected a goal and an assist with Charlie Coyle moving to the right wing alongside them.
“They certainly were excellent,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said. “Was it Charlie or was it the other two guys just knowing that sooner or later, they’re good players, they’re gonna come around? I think it’s a bit of both. Charlie’s a good presence in the slot, he’ll help below the goal line.”
The extra offense was welcome for Boston, which had been held to two goals or fewer in five of six entering the contest.
“We’re going home not necessarily happy with how the road trip went, but you kind of go as your last game goes,” DeBrusk said. “Coming back home feeling good about ourselves is always a good thing, especially when things weren’t looking too good there.”
Things haven’t looked good at many points this season for the Kings, who sit at the bottom of the Pacific Division standings. But Los Angeles has something to celebrate following a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday, a game in which captain Anze Kopitar scored twice to pass Wayne Gretzky for fourth place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list with 919 career points.
“He probably did it in 400 games, it took me a little bit longer,” Kopitar said. “Whenever you’re mentioned in the same sentence as Wayne, it’s obviously a pretty big deal. Maybe I can brag about this one for just a little bit — I don’t think I’m going to touch any of his other records.”
The Kings are in the midst of a stretch of eight of nine games on the road. The team did clean up one bit of bookkeeping Monday when they waived struggling left wing Ilya Kovalchuk, who had been a healthy scratch for 18 consecutive games.
The Bruins will host the New York Islanders (Thursday), Nashville (Saturday) and Washington (Monday) before the Christmas break.
–Field Level Media