Kings rally to beat Bruins in OT

BOSTON (AP) — Dustin Brown gave the Los Angeles Kings a
comeback win and a boost in their bid to come from behind in the
playoff race.

Brown scored with 35 seconds left in overtime and the Kings beat
the Boston Bruins, 3-2, on Thursday night as the struggling
Eastern Conference leaders squandered a 2-0 lead.

“It’s a huge win for us,” Brown said. “We’ve shown we could
come back many times this year, and this is just another one,
but it just happened to be against one of the better teams in
the league.”

Not lately.

The Bruins are 6-9-4 in their last 19 games after going 39-8-6
in their first 53.

“We’re going to have to start outworking other teams from start
to finish like we were earlier in the season,” Boston coach
Claude Julien said, “and your best players are going to have to
find their game and be the best they can be in order for us to
get out of it.”

The Kings remained 13th in the Western Conference but within
striking distance of the eighth and final playoff spot with 12
games left – the next five on the road.

“To start this off with a win in Boston,” Los Angeles coach
Terry Murray said, “was very important to have that kind of
feeling and build some momentum here at the start for the rest
of the trip.”

They were 3-6-1 in their 10 games before Thursday, but four of
those losses were by one goal.

“We weren’t in awe of the Boston Bruins,” Murray said. “We know
they’re a great team, but we know we have to go out and play the
game, so playing with composure and playing the right way was
what was talked about at the start.”

The Bruins seem to have lost their aura of dominance, something
goalie Tim Thomas has seen during the current slump.

“Whether we’re on the road or at home, teams are coming up
against us and it’s almost like they’ve got the upper hand
already,” Thomas said, “because they’re the more confident

A victory would have built the Bruins’ confidence – and clinched
a playoff berth – but now they await Sunday’s game against New
Jersey, which trails them by five points but has played two
fewer games.

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“We know what’s at stake on Sunday, and we’ve got to have a big
win,” said Mark Recchi, whose second-period goal gave Boston a
2-0 lead.

But Michal Handzus scored on a power play for Los Angeles with
10:10 left in the third period, and rookie defenseman Drew
Doughty tied it with 1:36 remaining in regulation.

The Kings began their winning play from their own end.

Brown passed the puck and Thomas made a kick save on Sean
O’Donnell’s shot but had little chance to stop Brown, who scored
his 24th goal.

“I just dished it wide and cut for the net,” Brown said, “and
there was a rebound sitting for me.”

Matt Hunwick, a healthy scratch the last five games, gave Boston
a 1-0 lead at 14:41 of the first period with his sixth goal of
the season.

Recchi scored at 3:48 of the second period, his 17th goal of the
season and his fourth since being obtained from Tampa Bay on
March 4.

But the Bruins failed to capitalize on two power plays in the
second period, and the momentum began to shift even before the
Kings scored.

“We left them in the game and kind of made believers out of
them,” Thomas said.

Handzus began the comeback with a power-play goal when he
converted a rebound from the side of the net on a shot by Teddy
Purcell. Handzus’ 16th goal of the season came with 11 seconds
left in a penalty to Aaron Ward.

The Kings tied it on Doughty’s fifth goal. Wayne Simmonds’ shot
from just in front of Thomas hit the post to the goalie’s left
and ricocheted to Doughty, who knocked the puck in from the
other corner of the net.

“It’s definitely special,” Doughty said. “They’re the best team
in the Eastern Conference. To be able to play with them like
that and outshoot them and end up winning the game in overtime
just gives us a lot of confidence.”