Game 52; 32-17-3
BOSTON — It was their 50th anniversary and what a way to celebrate as the Los Angeles Kings looked, well, golden in Boston as they kicked off their seven-game road trip with a vengeance thanks to a 9-2 beatdown of the Bruins. The win was, believe it or not, just the silver-and-black’s first win in Beantown in over five years.
The Kings, though, started slow out of the gate as they began the contest trailing 1-0 while being outshot 7-1. But the tide turned towards the end of the first and from there, the silver-and-black, who donned their vintage gold-and-forum-blues on this night, took over.
After Brad Marchand‘s power-play goal put the Bruins out in front, the Kings came back with two goals in the final two minutes of the opening frame. First, Jeff Carter scored his 14th on the man-advantage thanks to an accidental-looking goal that tied it with just 1:39 remaining. Jake Muzzin and Drew Doughty had the assists. But they weren’t done there as, with just 16 seconds to go in the period, Marian Gaborik took a beautiful behind-the-net pass from Vincent Lecavalier to net his 11th and give Los Angeles a lead they would not relinquish.
At the 12:09 mark, Drew Doughty gave the Kings their second power-play goal of the night, netting his 11th from Milan Lucic and Marian Gaborik. Then, just 33 seconds later, Dwight King finished off a 3-on-0 as he tapped in a cross-ice pass for his fifth. Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter had the assists.
Rask was then pulled in favour of Jonas Gustavsson but he didn’t fare much better.
Early in the third, it was the man of the hour adding to the onslaught as Milan Lucic tipped home an Anze Kopitar pass for his 13th to make his return a memorable one, making it 7-1 Los Angeles.
After Boston scored shortly after, the Kings scored two more as Luke Schenn slapped home his first as a King — and first since Nov. 14 — from Christian Ehrhoff and Tyler Toffoli followed by captain Dustin Brown‘s eighth from Schenn and Ehrhoff to mercifully end the drubbing.
While the Kings did notch a season-high nine goals on this night, they did so with nine different goal-scorers and 15 different point-scorers. For a club who has struggled at TD Garden in recent years, it certainly didn’t show on this night.
Of course, despite all of the offense, the outstanding play of Jonathan Quick cannot go unnoticed.
Even though he had a comfortable lead for much of the night, Los Angeles’s No. 32 was standing on his head in this one as he made 35 saves en route to the victory — his 28th of the season.
As for Lucic, his return to Boston was a productive one as he finished the night with a goal and an assist, four hits and four shots while logging 17:54 of total ice time. In addition, despite their club’s lopsided defeat, the hometown fans saluted Lucic, giving the former Bruin a warm reception.
From their offensive synergy to their crisp, fluid passing, this was arguably the Kings’ strongest game this season. They will look to keep their solid play going now as they continue their road trip for three contests in the New York City area beginning on Thursday night. There, the Kings will make their first-ever first to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to take on the New York Islanders.