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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Bruins Get Some Payback vs. Kings, Thanks to Marchand

Savor this moment because it won't happen too often: Brad Marchand is the hottest player (settle down ladies) in the NHL with six goals in his last four games and four in his last two. Boston beat Los Angeles 3-2 this afternoon at TD Garden thanks to his continued excellent play and Chad Johnson's more than serviceable start (21 saves).

The Bruins (31-15-3) had lost 4-2 to the Kings (29-15-6) on January 9 in LA so they were more than happy to repay them with some home cooking of their own in their only other matchup of the season. Since LA had been in Boston waiting for the B's while the Black and Gold were in Chicago on Sunday battling the Blackhawks, this was a particularly impressive victory.

I was surprised that Johnson got the start opposite UMass alum Jonathan Quick (20 saves) but he performed well and won in Dallas on Thursday so he deserved another opportunity instead of waiting nearly a month between starts (yes, that really happened).

Marchand scored at 12:07 in the first period on a shorthanded bid. First, his breakaway was stopped by Quick but by some stroke of good luck the puck returned to his stick through four Kings and he was able to put it in the net. His 15th goal of the season was assisted by Patrice Bergeron.

Torey Krug made it 2-0 at 17:51 with one of his patented power play lasers. His 11th goal of the season (tied for 2nd in the NHL for defensemen) was assisted by David Krejci and Ryan Spooner.

The Kings have trouble scoring, go figure with all their offensive talent, but that's why they have Willie Mitchell. Wait, what? The scrub defenseman scored his first goal of the season at 4:09 of the second period to cut it to 2-1. His one-timer was courtesy of Mike Richards.

Former Flyer Jeff Carter tied it at two at 8:35 in the third period with his 19th goal of the season. His one-timer was on the power play, from Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar (ever hear of them?). Marchand and the B's would not be denied though as he potted the winning goal just 18 seconds after that. It was a sweet one-timer from Reilly Smith and Bergeron.

Milan Lucic made his presence felt in the first when he fought Jordan Nolan (who had tagged Krug with a questionable hit). Boston finally gets a little break as they don't play another game until Saturday (1, NESN) in Philadelphia (25-19-6, 3rd in Metropolitan Division)-their first meeting of the season.

UPDATE 1/21: The Bruins assigned defenseman Zach Trotman back to Providence. After yesterday's game, Boston head coach Claude Julien said Adam McQuaid was day-to-day with a leg injury but that was good news. I guess he'll be fine for Saturday in Philly.

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