Kings (12-6-0) vs. Boston Bruins (11-5-1) at TD Garden, 4 p.m. (PT)
Five storylines to track:
1. Not so special – The Kings got beat by the Buffalo Sabres, 4-2, on Friday night, their third consecutive loss after six straight wins. The difference can be traced directly to the power play. The Kings couldn’t produce on their five man-advantage situations, the Sabres scored on two of their six power plays, including the tying and go-ahead goals in the second period. Coming into the game, the Kings were the best in the league on the penalty kill.
2. Protecting a lead – For the second consecutive game, the Kings gave up three straight goals and let a lead get away. In a 5-3 loss Wednesday against the Blue Jackets, the Kings let a one-goal lead dissolve early in the third period. They allowed three consecutive goals to Buffalo after taking a 2-1 lead early in the second on Wayne Simmonds’ fourth goal of the season.
3. Boston comebacks – The Kings have been faced with adversity in their last two games in Boston and have come back to win each time. Last January, the Kings trailed 2-1 to start the third period, but Anze Kopitar tied the score and the Kings went on to win in a shootout. In March 2009, the Kings rallied from a 2-0 deficit midway through the third period before Dustin Brown won the game with 35 seconds remaining in overtime.
4. Dueling masked men – Two of the better goalies in the NHL will go head-to-head in this one. Tim Thomas of Boston leads the league in save percentage at .959, while Jonathan Quick has dropped to fifth (.936) after giving up four goals on 25 shots in his last game against Columbus. Thomas is second in the league in goals against (1.37) and Quick is third (1.73).
5. Lucic on the loose – Back in 2006, the Kings drafted defenseman Joey Ryan with the 48th overall selection. Two spots later, Boston drafted left wing Milan Lucic. Fast forward to this season and Ryan has vanished from North American professional hockey, while Lucic has 10 goals and seven assists in 17 games for the Bruins. In the last six games, Lucic has five goals and two assists, including a hat trick in a 4-0 victory Thursday against the Florida Panthers.