New Coach, Same Result—Kings Shutout by Bruins 3-0

Rich Peverley (49) bangs home a first period goal to put the Bruins on top.

We’ll never know exactly how GM Dean Lombardi pictured this game playing out, a mere 24 hours removed from a change at head coach—but I think it would be safe to say he hoped for better than this.

The Kings were shutout by Tukka Rask and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Bruins earlier tonight in Boston by a score of 3-0. The goals were provided by the combined efforts of Rich Peverley and Brad Marchand, who netted two for his tenth and eleventh tallies on the season. Rask stopped all 41 (!) (more later on that) shots that came his way and the Bruins emerged victorious for the seventh time in the last ten games.

The slump continues for the Los Angeles offense, who have failed to score more than 2 goals in the last 9 consecutive games. It is their fifth loss in a row and thirteenth regulation loss on the season.

Based on the team’s play during the past two weeks, it’s almost remarkable how they are still able to fend off Anaheim for the last spot in the Pacific division. To the date, the Kings hold a nine point lead over the Ducks.

One stat in particular that stands out from this game (and furthermore, one positive thing Los Angeles will be able to write home about) is the shot totals for both teams. The Kings lost, yet outshot the Bruins 41-22. Sure, none of those attempts found the back of the net—but upon further review, it looks as though the team had some chances tonight but just wasn’t able to capitalize.

Dustin Brown led the team in shots with six in over twenty-one and a half minutes of ice time. The Kings did a nice job of staying out of the penalty box in order to keep their best players out there at even strength, yet squandered away five power play opportunities during the games final two periods.  Goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 19 of the 22 shots he faced.

Newly-tagged interim coach John Stevens acknowledged after the contest that he liked what he saw from the offense in some instances. He even mentioned a few names—Simon Gagne and Dustin Penner among others—whose play gave the coach a reason to believe a few things simply need to swing their way in order to return to the win column. Time will tell if this is indeed the case, although Stevens’ head coaching days are more than likely numbered.

As far as any sort of coaching search update is concerned, there is some news on that front. The Kings have sought permission to talk to Darryl Sutter of the Calgary Flames. He was relieved of his general manager duties last December, but still remains under contract with the team. Lombardi and Sutter have a history together—the former hired Sutter to be his head coach in San Jose way back in 1997. At this point, it would be hard to imagine any other candidate emerging as a favorite for the job.

Up next for the squad is a date with Columbus this Thursday night at 7pm ET. The Blue Jackets could hardly tread water through the season’s first two months, but have come together as of late and look to remain hot after a huge win against defending the Western Conference champion Canucks earlier tonight.