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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Boston Bruins blanked in LA-LA land by enigmatic Kings

The Boston Bruins very rarely play on the West Coast so obviously they treated last night's game late-night action in Los Angeles like an exhibition game, losing 2-0 to the Kings at the Staples Center.

It's hard to believe or explain but Los Angeles has now beat Boston five straight times. It was also the first time in more than a month that the Bruins were shut out.

Despite being in last-place in their stacked division, the Kings (26-22-1) should be better with their talented roster of scorers, young stud defenseman and a quality goalie.

It looked like a game from last season, with minor differences. Tim Thomas (32 saves; 23-5-6) was in goal instead of Tuukka Rask but the Bruins (27-15-7) struggled to get any pucks past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick (34 saves; 5th shutout; 21-14-1).

Ryan Smyth gave LA a 1-0 lead at 10:50 of the first period with a power play goal (his 18th of the season) from Jarrett Stoll and Drew Doughty. Smyth was in the right place at the right time, banging in a rebound from just outside the crease.

Shawn Thornton got into his 11th fight of the season, later in the first period. He traded bombs with Kyle Clifford but unfortunately it didn't seem to fire up the Bruins.

Rookie Andrei Lokitonov scored his second goal of the season at 3:30 in the third period. It was another juicy rebound that fell right to Los Angeles. Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar assisted on the goal.

Boston finally woke up in the third period, outshooting LA 14-9 but it was too late to salvage anything on their two-game road trip.

The Bs come home to face the Florida Panthers tomorrow night. It's the last game before the All-Star festivities this weekend. A dream scenario for Boston is to get Rask a win while also seeing some of their struggling forwards like Nathan Horton or Tyler Seguin get on the scoresheet, giving them some confidence heading into the break.

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