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Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Sinking Kings lose fifth straight, 3-0, vs. Boston

By Dan Arritt

Boston Bruins 3, Kings 0

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: A day after Terry Murray was fired as coach of the Kings, their slump continued Tuesday night in Boston with a 3-0 loss to the Bruins at TD Garden, ending a five-game winning streak in the building..

THE STAT: The Kings, last in the league in scoring coming in, were held under three goals for the ninth consecutive game. They have six goals on their current five-game losing streak and 17 in the last 11.

TURNING POINT: A couple minutes after Kings left wing Dustin Penner missed an open side of the net on a two-on-none rush, the Bruins took a 1-0 lead on the other end when Kings defenseman Jack Johnson lost the puck in the corner. Benoit Pouliot passed to Zach Hamill, who spotted Rich Peverley cutting through the slot a stride ahead of Kings rookie forward Andrei Loktionov and netted the puck 6:32 into the game.

HOT: Any goalkeeper who plays against the Kings looks like a Vezina winner these days. Minnesota goalie Matt Hackett made 42 saves last week against the Kings in his first NHL start and won, 4-2. Richard Bachman made his first NHL start Saturday against the Kings and won, 2-1. Boston back-up Tuukka Rask got the call against the Kings as coach Claude Julien opted to save starter and two-time Vezina winner Tim Thomas for Wednesday’s game against Ottawa and Rask looked like an All-Star, stopping a season-high 41 shots for his ninth career shutout.

NOT: Kings rookie defenseman Slava Voynov, one of the few bright spots this season, struggled against the defending Stanley Cup champions. He had two giveaways, two minor penalties and was a minus-2 on the ice. The Kings, not long ago among the league’s top 10 on the power play, came into the game 21st. They went scoreless on all four man-advantage situations, the fourth straight game without a power-play goal.

GOOD MOVE: If Kings general manager Dean Lombardi was going to fire Murray, at least he did it in Boston, a much shorter plane ride to Murray’s offseason home in Maine.

BAD MOVE: Lombardi probably should have followed Anaheim’s lead, however, and hired a new coach before firing the old one. John Stevens, who is serving as interim coach until Lombardi can convince someone else to take the job, is in a no-win situation and the players know it.

NOTABLE: Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell skated during pre-game warm-ups but then opted to sit out after apparently re-aggravating a groin injury. Mitchell missed three games with the injury before returning in Saturday’s loss against Dallas. Davis Drewiske took his spot in the lineup.

UP NEXT: Thursday at Columbus, 4 p.m. (PT)