Following the lackluster 2-1 showing against the San Jose Sharks, the Boston Bruins needed to come up big and turn in a good game against the Los Angeles Kings. They did, taking a 4-2 win with them to make Zdeno Chara‘s 1,000th game even better.
The first period, though, was not exciting. Play was frequently stopped, creating a choppy game rhythm much like sitting in stop-and-go traffic. A prolonged stoppage to check the clock resulted in no changes, just time wasted and jokes made about what it could have been. Neither team got on the scoreboard in the first and the only big thing that happened was a fight between Chris Kelly and Trevor Lewis.
In the second period, the Bruins really started to come alive. Patrice Bergeron scored a goal for the first time in the entire month of March, breaking a drought that actually stretched all the way back to the end of February. It came as a result of excellent work by linemate Brad Marchand to set up a chance in front of Jonathan Quick. Although before the end of the period, the Kings had evened up the score with a tally from Colin Fraser (just his second of the year), the Bruins had managed the first goal, which was a promising sign.
The tempo increased dramatically for the third period: the Bruins built a 3-1 lead on the strength of quick-strike goals from Milan Lucic and Kelly. Kelly’s goal, assisted by Brian Rolston, means that Rolston is now on a five-game points streak. Another infrequent goal-scorer, Slava Voynov, brought the Kings within one goal later in the third, but Tim Thomas stood tall in net for the Bruins and made 40 saves that were at times acrobatic or unbelievable. (He’s been amazing, but I still feel that Marty Turco deserves a nod soon.) Marchand’s last-second empty-net goal just sealed the deal for the Black and Gold.
This was Chara’s 1,000th and while it was not a home game, which would’ve created an interesting atmosphere, it was still a game worth remembering for good reasons. That sounds like a good memory to me!
Next up for the Bruins: the end of the three-game California trip as Boston takes on Anaheim on March 25.