Kings host Bruins in clash between recent Cup winners
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings will both be eyeing bounce-back efforts on Thursday night when the two clubs clash in a meeting between recent Stanley Cup winners.
The Bruins, 2011 Cup winners, had won five of their previous seven before suffering a 5-2 setback to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday in the start of a three-game swing through California.
The Kings, meanwhile, have split the first two of a five-game homestand. The 2012 NHL champions snapped a five-game slide with a win over Vancouver on Saturday, but dropped a 2-1 shootout to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.
Boston was never able to recover from a 3-0 deficit on Tuesday versus Anaheim, getting goals from Daniel Paille and Dougie Hamilton to make it a one-goal game before the Ducks netted the final two scores of the contest.
Tuukka Rask allowed all five goals on 20 shots in the loss.
"We felt like we played good and we were able to score some goals," said Rask. "In the third we were able to make it a one-goal game, but then it got away from us."
Boston played without forward Milan Lucic due to illness, believed to be food poisoning, but returned to practice on Wednesday and could play tonight.
The Bruins, who visit San Jose on Saturday to cap their swing, is also close to getting forward Loui Eriksson back from his second concussion of the season. He suffered his latest head injury on Dec. 7 and has missed 14 straight.
Eriksson was cleared for contact on Wednesday, though coach Claude Julien said the forward is doubtful for this game.
The Kings, meanwhile, have been held to two goals or fewer in six of their last seven games. They got a goal from Jarret Stoll in Tuesday's loss, but the Wild netted the lone tally of the four-round shootout.
Jeff Carter and Dwight King assisted on Stoll's tally that came 50 seconds into the third period and Jonathan Quick made 16 saves in his second game back from a groin injury suffered in mid-November.
"You can't always expect the big guys to score all of the time. We need to get more secondary scoring, and more opportunities from our defense," said Kings coach Darryl Sutter.
The Kings had won five in a row over the Bruins before getting beat in both meetings during the 2011-12 campaign.
Quick is 5-2-0 with a 2.19 goals against average in seven career meetings with the Bruins, while Rask has faced the Kings just once before. That came on Dec. 13, 2011 in Boston and Rask notched a 41-save shutout.
Boston has won four of its last six in Los Angeles.
01/09 10:53:36 ET