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Ice Breakers: Bruins-Kings, Saturday November 20th

The Bruins (11-5-1) look to make it four in a row tonight, as they host the Los Angeles Kings (12-6-0) at TD Garden.

Boston’s 4-0 win over Florida Thursday was triggered by two standouts, with Tuukka Rask shutting down the Panthers for his first win of the season, while Milan Lucic notched his second career hat trick, scoring the team’s first three goals in route to Boston’s third straight win. It was Boston’s second straight home shutout win this week.

The Kings are coming off a tough loss last night in Buffalo, falling to the Sabres 4-2 at HSBC Arena. That makes three downers in a row for the young Kings, who have hit their first pothole of the season, after crusing through the first month atop the Pacific Division.

Let’s now dive in to some pregame notes to get you ready for tonight’s action…

  • Boston lost both meetings with L.A. last season, dropping both games in shootouts. L.A. has won their last three games in Boston.
  • Good news out of Bruins camp the last few days, with both David Krejci and Marc Savard making big strides toward returning to the Bruins lineup. Krejci, who suffered a moderate concussion two weeks ago against St. Louis, is now considered “day-to-day,” and may suit up in tonight’s game against the Kings, depending on how he feels beforehand. As for Marc Savard, doctors have cleared him to return to practice, after going two weeks without any symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. Savard aims to return at some point next month.
  • As for the injury list on the Kings side, only forward Scott Parse is out of action on injured reserve, as he prepares to have hip surgery next week.
  • Tonight’s goalie matchup, according to early reports, is shaping up to be a good one, with two of the top performing goaltenders facing off. Tim Thomas will likely return to the crease tonight for Boston, sporting his 10-1-0 record and his miniscule 1.37GAA. For L.A., look for Milford, CT native and UMass Amherst alum Jonathan Quick to get the start. Quick is 10-2-1 this season with a 1.73GAA. He is backed up by highly touted rookie Jonathan Bernier (2-4-0, 3.18GAA).
  • The Kings are led on the stat sheet by forward Justin Williams (9G, 10A), who had his 11-game point streak snapped in last night’s loss to Buffalo. Tied with Williams is center Anze Kopitar (6G, 13A), followed by center Jarret Stoll (6G, 10A).
  • Lastly, we should make mention of the passing of one of the NHL’s great coaches of all time, Mr. Pat Burns. Burns passed away yesterday at the young age of 58. It was thought that he had beaten colon and liver cancer back in 2004 and 2005, but last year it was found that the cancer had come back, this time in his lungs. Burns won a Stanley Cup back in 2003 with the New Jersey Devils, but before that, he led the Bruins as head coach from 1997-2000, leading the B’s to the playoffs on two occasions. Players and coaches around the league mourn his loss today, as the game loses one of its outstanding contributors.

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