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Game Day Preview #58, Boston Bruins @ Los Angeles Kings

Aha, so we meet again!

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at Boston Bruins Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

HOW TO WATCH

Game Time: 7:30 PM Pacific
TV: Fox Sports West
Radio: iHeart Radio
The Opposition: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Here are three things to know about this game:

  1. The Kings just inexplicably lost to the Canucks, victimized by a late goalie pull by Vancouver, an inability to clear the puck out of the zone, an overtime session I completely slept through, and a big fail (save for Ilya Kovalchuk) in the skills competition portion of the evening. While the Kings have technically been playing better hockey as of late, giving up a game-tying goal and then being able to muster no offense in overtime against an equally-bad team is not the way to success.
  2. The Bruins blanked the Ducks 3-0, despite playing their backup goalie and also being without the services of David Pastrnak, who injured his thumb and is out for at least two weeks. In retrospect, the score probably could have been worse. The Bruins took 29 shots, won 65% of faceoffs, and the Ducks have been starting a career AHL netminder. The absence of Pastrnak is a blow to the Bruins—he is their leading goal-scorer—but the combined powers of Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand mean that nearly anyone can be elevated to that first line and find at least moderate success. Against Anaheim, Danton Heinen was slotted in there. He collected no points against the Ducks, but had a three-point night against Chicago in his first shot on the top line. (The fact that you’re reading this right now going “Danton who?” proves my point.)
  3. The Kings pushing the Bruins to overtime when they met in Boston was an unexpected, but pleasant, surprise. Can the Kings find a path to victory by using a combination of their ire at losing to the Canucks plus the good memories of what it felt like to push back against the Bruins to force overtime? Jeff Carter could possibly be slated for a return today; no indication yet on who may come out in exchange. The temptation is to say Austin Wagner, but he has three goals in two games in under eight minutes of ice time in each appearance. Why would you possibly take him out? (He’ll probably be scratched. I can’t say I didn’t warn you.) Sean Walker’s status after taking a puck to the face is unknown, but it seems more than likely that even if he’s fine, he’ll come out of the lineup anyway as the team continues to rotate between Walker, Paul LaDue, and Dion Phaneuf.

By the time you’re reading this preview, yours truly will be en route to Detroit in order to watch the US and Canada women’s national teams play. So if there’s a major lineup development, you’ll be on your own. Please insert any appropriate jokes or commentary below, as necessary.

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