Many times this season the Boston Bruins have been fortunate to come out on the winning side thanks to their goaltending.
Even though Bruins goalie Tim Thomas was solid against Los Angeles on Monday night at Staples Center, keeping Boston within striking distance, it was the Kings’ Jonathan Quick who made the timely saves en route to a 2-0 victory.
The Bruins couldn’t generate many quality scoring chances, but when they did Quick, a UMass product, made the crucial stops, posting 34 saves for his fifth shutout this season. Thomas finished with a solid 32-save performance, but Boston looked sluggish in the playmaking department.
Thomas suffered his first loss since Dec. 20 against Anaheim at TD Garden, and this was his first road loss since Dec. 16 at Montreal.
The Kings scored a power-play goal at 10:50 of the first period on Ryan Smith’s 18th of the season. Los Angeles added its insurance goal when Andrei Lokionov netted his second of the season at 3:30 of the third period. That was all the Kings needed as Quick did the rest to hold off the Bruins.
CONCUSSED AGAIN: The big news prior to Monday’s game against the Kings was that Bruins center Marc Savard was diagnosed with a moderate concussion. He suffered the injury last Saturday in Colorado, returned to Boston on Sunday and was tested on Monday. He’s out indefinitely. For more on Savard, click here.
LIFE WITHOUT SAVVY: With Savard out, Bruins coach Claude Julien needed to tweak his lines a bit. The Bruins’ top line consisted of centerman David Krejci and wingers Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton. Patrice Bergeron was in the middle of Brad Marchand and Mark Recchi. Tyler Seguin was put back at his natural center position with Michael Ryder and Blake Wheeler. Boston’s energy line consisted of Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton.
DROP ‘EM: Time and again this season when the Bruins have needed a spark, it was team pugilist Shawn Thornton who has ignited one. With Boston trailing 1-0 late in the first period on Monday, Thornton dropped the gloves with Kings tough guy Kyle Clifford. It was a spirited battle and Thornton’s 11th fighting major of the season, but it didn’t get his teammates fired up.
UP NEXT: The Bruins return home and will host the Florida Panthers Wednesday at the Garden in the team’s last game before the All-Star break.