BOSTON – Two of the NHL’s top goalies this season faced off for a lengthy shootout until Los Angeles’ Michal Handzus decided to try something new.
Handzus scored in the sixth round and Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick made 38 saves through overtime to beat Tim Thomas and lift the Kings to a 4-3 victory over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
Quick (11-2), who along with Thomas won a silver medal with the U.S. team at this year’s Vancouver Olympics, helped the Kings snap a season-high, three-game losing streak.
Thomas (10-2) made 23 saves before the shootout, but the Bruins’ three-game winning streak was broken.
Handzus, who also scored in regulation, beat Thomas with a wrist shot on the stick side. He scored after Quick made a pad stop on David Krejci in the sixth round.
After watching his teammates fail to fool Thomas, Handzus figured he’d just go in and shoot.
“I saw a couple of guys trying to make moves, and he was pretty deep in the net, so I tried to shoot it,” he said.
Jarett Stoll had his 100th career goal for the Kings, and Brad Richardson also scored.
Patrice Bergeron’s power-play goal for Boston with 6:16 to play sent the game to overtime. It was the fourth straight game between the teams that needed extra time. Blake Wheeler and Gregory Campbell added goals for the Bruins in the second period.
Boston forward Nathan Horton missed the net with a hard shot from in close late in overtime.
That set the stage for two of the league’s best to stone each other’s top shooters.
“Both goalies were very good,” Kings coach Terry Murray said. “Thomas is having a great year. You can see his composure in the shootout. It could have went deeper, for sure.”
Los Angeles improved to 3-0 in shootouts. Boston fell to 0-2.
“It definitely felt like it could have (gone for a while),” Boston centre Brad Marchand said. “Timmy’s having a great year. Unfortunately, one team had to lose and unfortunately it was us.”
Wheeler felt neither team had good shots in the extra session until the game-winner.
“It didn’t seem like anything was close until the one that went in,” he said.
The game was delayed for a few minutes after linesman Steve Miller was injured along the boards during overtime. He was down on the ice for a little bit before being helped off, barely able to skate on his own.
Bergeron tied it 3-3 when he lifted a shot from the left circle past Quick’s right arm for his first goal in nine games.
Trailing 3-0 early in the second, the Bruins started their comeback when Wheeler slipped a shot between Quick’s left side and the right post 4:30 into the period.
While the Bruins had an extra skater on the ice during a delayed penalty, Campbell scored off the rebound of Shawn Thronton’s slap shot from the left circle, cutting the deficit to 3-2 at 11:57.
Seconds after Quick robbed Michael Ryder with an arm save on a wrister from the slot, Richardson beat Thomas on the glove side, making it 1-0 just 57 seconds into the game.
The Kings increased the lead to 2-0 when Handzus scored off the rebound of Davis Drewiske’s shot from the point.
Los Angeles made it 3-0 when Stoll scored off a nifty give-and-go play with Justin Williams 2:50 into the second. Williams, skating with the puck down the right wing, centred to Stoll, who gave it back. Williams then got the puck back to Stoll, who was set up for a wrister in the slot.
Just moments after Wheeler’s goal, Thomas made an outstanding glove save on Stoll from in close. The Kings centre spun around behind the net and slammed his stick against the glass in apparent disbelief.
Early in the third period, Quick robbed Wheeler on a backhanded bid from just outside the crease. Rookie Tyler Seguin set up Wheeler with a pass from the side of the net.
NOTES: The Bruins held a moment of silence for former coach Pat Burns, who died Friday. … Krejci returned after missing six games because of a concussion sustained Nov. 6 against St. Louis. … Thomas took a spill about 45 minutes before the game. He could shown smiling on the scoreboard. … Boston LW Milan Lucic, who had a hat trick in Thursday’s 4-0 win over Florida, hit the post with a shot midway into the first. … Los Angeles C Keith Westgarth earned his first NHL point with an assist on the first goal. … Quick had his mask knocked off by Lucic’s first-period shot, the second straight game an opponent’s goalie had that happen against the Bruins. … Boston D Zdeno Chara has at least one penalty in six consecutive games.