Boston Bruins (34-18-4, 72 pts) vs Los Angeles Kings (31-19-7, 69 pts).
TIME: 7:05 PM ET
TV: NESN, BSW, TVAS
The Boston Bruins return home to TD Garden fresh off a 5-1-0 road trip out west to host the Los Angeles Kings Monday night at TD Garden. The Bruins absolutely dominated and embarrassed the Kings in a 7-0 win a week ago at Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. Boston Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk notched his first career hat trick and added a helper in the win and Jeremy Swayman earned his third shutout of the season with a 34-save performance.
Since that forgettable game for the Kings, they’ve gone 2-1-0, winning their last two games with the most recent being a 3-0 shutout over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. Based on that more recent form from the Kings and a built-in revenge factor, the Boston Bruins know they will see a different Kings squad this time around and can’t rest on their laurels from a successful road trip.
“It’s very important to come out of the gates hot,” said forward Erik Haula who had eight points (3g, 5a), on the road trip. “We talked about it that, when you’re on the road for a long time, there’s different things that change when you come home, obviously, with families and all that.
We’re a mature group, I think we’ll bounce back well and get off to a good start here. But just focused on that first period. I think that’s key. That will get us going and then the crowd will jump on our backs and help us.”
Linus Ullmark will get the nod between the pipes for the Boston Bruins. Ullmark has struggled as of late going 2-3-0 in his last five games. Ullmark allowed four goals on 28 shots in his last start, a 4-3 overtime loss to the Anaheim Ducks last Tuesday. Ullmark is 17-9-1 with a 2.80 GAA and .908 save percentage.
Former UMass-Amherst star Jonathan Quick is expected to start for the Kings. Quick started the 7-0 loss to the Bruins last week but was pulled after allowing five goals on 19 shots. The 2012 Conn Smythe Winner is 15-11-6 with a 2.68 GAA and .908 save percentage.
Betting, Prediction: Per our friends at BetUS, the Kings are +135 to win the first period and +240 (three-way, regulation) to win in regulation. With that aforementioned revenge factor and the Bruins playing in tgheir first game back after a winning road trip, this has all the markings for a letdown game for the Bruins. Plus, with Ullmark struggling, this may get out of hand. That’s why those are our BetUs picks for the game.
Prediction: Kings 5 Bruins 2
Boston Bruins Notes
-As mentioned above, Haula racked up eight points on the road trip but he wasn’t the only one. David Pastrnak had four goals and four assists and is now riding an eight-game point streak and DeBrusk came home with five goals and two assists on the trip.
-He didn’t register a point in every game or rack up eight points like his teammates listed above but Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy was an absolute beast and continues to make a case to finish at least top 5 in Norris Trophy voting.
Los Angeles Kings Notes
-Kings rookie winger Jaret Anderson-Dolan will make his NHL debut on the No.1 line with Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe.
-Speaking of Kopitar, he leads the team in assists (36) and points with 56. Kempe leads the team in goals with 25 lamplighters but he hasn’t lit the lamp in five games.
Boston Bruins Lines:
Brad Marchand – Patrice Bergeron – Jake DeBrusk
Taylor Hall – Erik Haula – David Pastrnak
Trent Frederic – Charlie Coyle – Craig Smith
Nick Foligno-Tomas Nosek-Curtis Lazar
Mike Reilly – Charlie McAvoy
Matt Grzelcyk – Brandon Carlo
Derek Forbort – Connor Clifton
Los Angeles Kings Lines:
Jaret Anderson-Dolan – Anze Kopitar – Adrian Kempe
Trevor Moore – Phillip Danault – Carl Grundstrom
Alex Iafallo – Quinton Byfield – Dustin Brown
Andreas Athanasiou – Blake Lizotte – Arthur Kaliyev
Mikey Anderson – Drew Doughty
Olli Maatta – Matt Roy
Tobias Bjornfot – Sean Durzy