Here are five thoughts from the third period with the Bruins falling to the Los Angles Kings 4-2 at the Staples Center:
1) Justin Florek scores his first career NHL goal on a tip of a Johnny Boychuk point shot and continues to cement his right to a roster spot in Boston. Also loved his willingness to step in and throw a shot at Jarret Stoll in the face-off circle after the Kings center dominated draws throughout the game. He ended up winning 18-of-23 face-offs, but Florek gave him something else to think about. He’s made more of an impact in three games for the Bruins than Jordan Caron has this entire season, and that’s pretty eye-opening.
2) Milan Lucic looked like he might have still been fighting whatever bug caused him to miss the Anaheim game: one shot on net, zero hits, zero blocked shots and a minus-2 rating for zero impact.
3) The Bruins have allowed 21 goals in the past six games without Dennis Seidenberg, and continue to look like a team that badly needs another defensive presence among their D-corps. Perhaps they’ll finally get it all together, but the post-Seidenberg world hasn’t looked all that promising for the Black and Gold.
4) Ten shots on net for Jeff Carter and a first period goal that set the tone for the game. I have never been a giant fan of Carter’s game, but he was an absolute stud in this one.
5) The Bruins are one loss away from going 0-for-3 on the California trip where many other Eastern Conference teams have already been humbled this season by the Kings, Ducks and Sharks.
Here are five thoughts from the second period with the Bruins trailing the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 after 40 minutes:
1) Tuukka Rask pulled from the game after giving his third goal on 18 shots, and it’s the third time in the last 10 games that Rask has been yanked by Claude Julien. The numbers are getting pretty ghastly for Rask with no Dennis Seidenberg: a GAA over 4 and a save percentage under .900 while getting pulled twice. Rask clearly misses the defense of Seidenberg in front of him, but he’s also having some serious problems of his own in the middle of the season. The last two goals from Justin Williams and Alec Martinez just flat beat Rask.
2) The second period problems continue: the Bruins have a minus-3 goal differential in the middle period while sporting a plus-11 and plus-19 in the first and third period respectively.
3) Crazy penalty on Dougie Hamilton, who played a puck as he was getting out of the penalty box with his skates still in the box. That’s an interference penalty, and Hamilton went right back into the box setting up a Justin Williams power play goal for Los Angeles.
4) Great goal from Matt Fraser, who finally showed the one-timer bomb everybody has seen in practice, training camp and at the AHL level. He teed up a sweet dish from Carl Soderberg cross-ice and swept the puck off the ice into a top shelf shot that beat Jonathan Quick. It’s his first career NHL strike not scored against the Nashville Predators, and showed some of what he could do in a more offensive role.
5) Nice show of team spirit from Adam McQuaid, who saw Kyle Clifford take a run at David Krejci in front of the Kings bench and then went directly after him for his third hockey fight in three games. He’s fought a total of five times since Shawn Thornton was suspended, and has really picked up the slack from the B’s enforcer. McQuaid and Clifford both threw some bombs, and the B’s defenseman did a good job of protecting his skilled center.
Here are five thoughts from the first period with the Bruins trailing the Kings, 1-0:
1) The Bruins just don’t look hungry right now. The Kings are winning face-offs, stealing pucks from the B’s in the defensive zone and creating chances against the Black and Gold. Bruins were outshot 13-5. On the Kings goal, Johnny Boychuk fanned on a puck on his “off” side creating a scoring chance for Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter. He then lagged behind as Carter fired a shot on net and then followed his rebound for a score.
2) Jeff Carter was the best player on the ice for either team. He led all players with six shots on net in the first period, scored the game’s only goal and created another Kings PP when he harassed Zdeno Chara before stealing the puck from him in the defensive zone. That led to Dougie Hamilton tripping Kopitar at the end of the first period.
3) Bruins won only 7-of-20 face-offs in the first period, and Ryan Spooner and Gregory Campbell combined to go 0-for-5 on the draw. That’s unlike the Bruins, but they’re also playing one of the best face-off teams in the NHL.
4) Two giveaways from Jarome Iginla, who also fumbled at a potential power-play shot in front of the net. He’s done a lot of damage against the Kings over his career, but wasn’t all that sharp aside from a backhanded rebound attempt on a Boychuk blast from the right circle.
5) Justin Florek on the penalty kill for the Bruins. It looks like they’re really giving him a serious look at a potential roster role beyond just this road trip against the California teams.