CSNNE.com Bruins insider Joe Haggerty has the highs and lows from the B's 4-2 loss to the Kings on Thursday night.
GOLD STAR: Jeff Carter set the tone early playing with energy and a fiery purpose in the offensive zone. He actually outshot the entire Bruins team by a 6-5 margin in the first period, and scored the first goal when he and Anze Kopitar pounced on a Johnny Boychuk turnover in the defensive zone. He kept at it when Tuukka Rask stopped his first shot, and then fired a rebound bid for a goal that gave the Kings an upper hand they wouldn’t relinquish. Carter finished with a team-high 10 shots on net, and was the best player on the ice throughout the game.
BLACK EYE: Rask battled through a first period with 12 saves when it didn’t appear like he was all that comfortable between the pipes, but the roof caved in on him in the second period. He allowed a pair of quick goals to the Kings – including a Justin Williams power play shot from the slot that flat beat him up high – and was pulled for the second time in six games since Dennis Seidenberg went down with his knee injury. His goals against average is well over 4.00 and a save percentage below .900 in the six games since Seidenberg got hurt, and he’s looked like he’s having his own struggles beyond the Bruins defense in front of him. Rask is fighting the puck right now.
TURNING POINT: The Bruins have lost plenty of games this season in the second period, and they did it again on Thursday while dropping their second period goal differential to a minus-3 for the season. The Justin Williams power play goal and Alec Martinez center-point bomb handed the Bruins their second game in a row with a 3-0 deficit, and had Tuukka Rask getting yanked from the net for the third time in his past 10 games. The Bruins managed to scratch for a couple of goals in the game, but it was way too late for the Black and Gold.
HONORABLE MENTION: You’ve got to give Justin Florek some credit: he continues to make an impact with short spurts of ice time and any chances given to him by the Bruins coaching staff. Florek scored his first career NHL goal in the third period when he tipped a Johnny Boychuk shot past Jonathan Quick, and he also showed plenty of spunk when he popped Jarret Stoll in the face after the Kings center had won yet another draw against the Bruins. Florek is bringing the kind of competitive fire and spark that the Bruins want to see out of their bottom six guys, and even got some penalty killing reps by the B’s coaching staff.
BY THE NUMBERS: 21 – The number of goals the Bruins have given up in six games since Dennis Seidenberg was lost for the season with a knee injury. That’s an average of 3.5 goals per game, which is a horrendous number for a Bruins team based in defense.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We're shooting ourselves in the foot with the way we're giving up goals here. It's pretty simple...it's puck management.” –Bruins coach Claude Julien to NESN following the Thursday loss to the Kings