BOSTON – The Los Angeles Kings are winning on the road. The Boston Bruins are losing everywhere.
Jarret Stoll beat Tim Thomas in the sixth round of the shootout, giving the Kings their fifth straight victory and fourth on their current trip – a 3-2 decision over Boston on Saturday night that sent the Bruins to their seventh straight loss.
“I am not much of a planner,” Stoll said. “I knew I was going to shoot, just didn’t know where. As I went in something opened up and I tried to fire it where I wanted to and I was lucky enough that it went in.”
Boston’s seven-game losing streak, which started with a shootout loss in Los Angeles, is the team’s longest since 1997. The Bruins’ six-game home losing streak is their longest since 1924-25.
The Kings have won six straight road games, the second-longest streak in club history.
“It says a lot about the guy in there,” coach Terry Murray said.
Boston, 1-8-2 in its last 11 games, has 11 goals during its seven-game streak, eight in the last six. The Bruins played better in their last two losses, Friday night in Buffalo and Saturday at home.
“Overall, we feel we’re turning the corner, heading in the right direction,” Bruins coach Claude Julien said. “That’s two games in a row we’ve competed better than we had in the past.”
The Kings, who have won seven of their last eight, will end their trip in New Jersey on Sunday.
“Sixty more minutes to battle in New Jersey and we will go from there,” Stoll said.
All four regulation goals Saturday night were scored on the power play.
Anze Kopitar, whose first-period shot was tipped in by Dustin Brown, scored at 4:29 of the third period to tie it for the Kings. He also scored to open the shootout, but Thomas stopped the next four before Stoll connected to end the game.
“We’ve worked our way back to the level of frustration, at least,” Thomas said. “I think we were beyond frustration before and we’ve had two games where we’ve played really hard and worked really hard. We got one point tonight.
“I sure wish we could have finished it off. But we’re heading back in the right direction, I think.”
The point pulled the Bruins into a four-way tie for ninth place in the Eastern Conference, a point out of eighth.
Marco Sturm, returning from a six-game absence with a leg injury, and Mark Recchi scored for the Bruins, who had one power-play goal in their previous nine games.
Said Sturm: “If we play like this every night we’re going to be good.”
Quick improved to 12-4 in shootouts, while Thomas fell to 20-21.
NOTES: The game featured a matchup between two of the three U.S. Olympic goalies. … Centre Steve Begin (five games) also returned to the Bruins’ lineup, leaving Boston without only defenceman Andrew Ference (groin). The return of the two players led to Shawn Thornton and Vladimir Sobotka being healthy scratches. … Kopitar extended his points streak to five straight games (4-5-9).