BOSTON – The Bruins knew they’d be in for a heavy test against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday in the second end of a back-to-back against Western Conference foes with travel, and they were ready for the challenge.
The Bruins got off to a quick start with Brad Marchand and Torey Krug scoring in the first period for the Bruins, and used some hard-nosed, physical defense to grind the Kings down in a 3-2 win at TD Garden. The victory gives them three of a possible four points in back-to-back games against the Chicago Blackhawks and the Kings, a pair of Western teams that count as two of the best in the league.
The Kings actually tied things up in the third period when L.A. capitalized on an iffy penalty call on Johnny Boychuk, and Jeff Carter beat Chad Johnson with a shot right in front of the net.
But 18 seconds later, the Bruins responded with Marchand’s second goal of the game and his sixth goal in the last four games. The game-winner arrived after a series of won battles by the Patrice Bergeron line, and a slick Reilly Smith cross-ice pass to Marchand for the one-timer from the right faceoff circle.
It was Marchand’s team-leading 16th goal of the season and gave him his second straight two-goal game after Sunday’s two-goal effort against the Blackhawks.
Marchand had kicked off the scoring in the first period with a breathtaking dangle that saw him fake out Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar before scoring on Jonathan Quick for his NHL-leading fourth shorthanded goal of the year. Torey Krug followed with a power-play goal later in the first period through a Zdeno Chara screen for his 11th goal of the season. The Kings got a Willie Mitchell score, set up by Mike Richards, in the second period.