By Joe Haggerty
LOS ANGELES A strangle little two-game West Coast trip came to an unsurprisingly sleepy ending on Monday night.The Bruins couldnt muster much offense and lost most of the physical battles in an effort that was missing heart, mind and body en route to a 2-0 loss to the Kings at the Staples Center in the heart of Los Angeles.The first score for the Kings came in the first period with Zdeno Chara in the penalty box and a soft underbelly exposed along the Bs penalty kill without their big captain. Ryan Smyth went right to the front of the net and pounded home the rebound of a Jarret Stoll point shot while splitting the defense of Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg.Young Kings winger Andrei Loktionov gave LA their much-needed insurance goal in the middle of the second period off a Bs turnover around the blue line that allowed Anze Kopitar to create the play.The Bruins missed on their best scoring chance in the second period as Zdeno Chara fired a one-timer off the outside of the right post when he had a wide open net to work with as Jonathan Quick was tardy getting to his spot.Tim Thomas was otherwise brilliant with a series of kick saves and glove stops including a butterfly pad save on a Jarret Stoll hot shot from the slot area. Minutes later Quick had his own great stop as Milan Lucic fired a puck on Quick from the high slot as he steamed toward the net. Quick was solid throughout and improved to 5-0 against the Bruins in his career with a 34 save effort that served as his fifth shutout of the season. Joe Haggerty can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs
The Bruins have three players headed to the IIHF Hockey World Championship, which begin this weekend in Russia.
Brad Marchand was invited to play for Team Canada early on in the process, coming off his 37-goal season for the Bruins. Last week the Czech Republic added 19-year-old right wing David Pastrnak to their squad with plans to skate on a line with the Montreal Canadiens' Tomas Plekanec.
And Frank Vatrano -- who scored a total of 44 goals between Boston and Providence in this, his first full professional season -- was added to the Team USA roster this week. Vatrano, 22, confirmed it on his own Twitter account on Tuesday night prior to hopping on a flight bound for Russia:
Torey Krug played for Team USA last season, but was unavailable this time around after undergoing right shoulder surgery just a couple of weeks ago that will have him sidelined until late October.
Vatrano is one of four Massachusetts players on this year's version of Team USA. The others are Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon, Hurricanes defenseman Noah Hanifin and Devils D-man David Warsofsky.
Both Marchand and Pastrnak previously suited up for their countries in the World Junior championships, and Vatrano played in the U.S. National Team Development Program prior to playing college hockey at the University of Massachusetts. Vatrano also previously represented the U.S. at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Men's World Championship in Brno and Znojmo, Czech Republic, where he helped Team USA claim the gold medal.
The IIHF Men's World Championships will start Friday and run until May 22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. It features featuring many of the NHL players that aren’t participating in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Ahead of the expansion draft, teams may look to get something in return for players they’d otherwise lose for nothing.
Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while giving a warm May the Fourth Be With You to everybody out there.
*Mike Francesa has declared sports radio war on former New York Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro, and it’s getting ugly folks.
*A humbled Bruce Boudreau, who really didn’t need to be humbled given what a nice man he is, will have a long line of NHL suitors interested in his services.
*The Northeastern University hockey team has gone to some extremes with their pregame wrestling matches.
*Pro Hockey Talk asks the question: if there’s an expansion draft, which goaltender should the Penguins protect given what’s going on in their playoff series?
*A really nice gesture within the PHT morning skate with Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper going to bat for a Lightning beat reporter that finds himself out of a job.
*Max Domi had a very memorable rookie season even if it didn’t end with any serious consideration for the Calder Trophy.
*The Nashville Predators got a little better this week with the decision to kick Mike Ribeiro up into the press box.
*For something completely different: these Han Solo uniform jerseys for the Durham Bulls’ Star Wars Night are the freakin’ truth.