LOS ANGELES This time, the Los Angeles Kings only needed regulation to beat Boston.
Ryan Smyth scored their first power-play goal in eight games and Andrei Loktionov added a goal, helping Los Angeles win 2-0 on Monday night for its fifth straight victory over the Bruins.
The teams’ previous four meetings had all gone to overtime or a shootout, including the Kings’ 4-3 victory on Nov. 20 after they blew a 3-0 lead on the road.
Los Angeles has won two straight after going 3-13 in its previous 16 games, a plunge that dropped it from being one of the top teams in the West to a club fighting for a playoff berth.
“The last couple of weeks we haven’t played really well,” Kings goalie Jonathan Quick said. “We got to move forward and string a few wins together. We can get better.”
Smyth gave the Kings a 1-0 lead at 10:50 of the first period, ending an 0-for-22 power-play drought that spanned the previous seven games. He scored his 18th goal on a rebound of Jarret Stoll’s one-timer after Boston’s Zdeno Chara was sent off for hooking.
“We played solid defense and capitalized on special teams, which we’d been lacking lately,” Smyth said.
The Kings outshot Boston 25-20 through the first two periods, but had only one goal to show for it.
That changed at 3:30 of the third, when Loktionov scored from up close off a rebound of Dustin Brown’s shot for a 2-0 lead.
Quick made 34 saves to earn his 21st victory of the season and 13th career shutout, putting him fourth on the club’s all-time list.
“Quickie played outstanding, gave us a chance, made some spectacular saves,” Smyth said. “Sometimes you get pinned back and you get hemmed in your own zone. He rectified that and settled things down for us.”
Quick came up with a big save early in the second against Milan Lucic, who was alone in front of the net after David Krejci’s cross-ice pass.
“It we scored, that could have been a momentum changer and probably the whole game is different,” Boston goalie Tim Thomas said. “He (Quick) always seems to play a good game against me. I don’t know if he gets his rivalry juices up, but having said that they scored both their goals on the doorstep. I can’t remember a doorstep chance that we got off a rebound or a puck laying there. The chances were there, but we weren’t there.”
Better on the road than at home this season, the Bruins came in with a 6-2-0 record in their previous eight games, having scored at least six goals in four of their seven. But they went 0-for-3 on the power play.
“Any chance to put the puck on the net, they did,” Chara said. “We were one or two steps behind where we should have been.”
Thomas had been equally as good as Quick, with an 8-0-2 mark in his last 10 games. He made 32 saves before being pulled for an extra attacker with 1:57 remaining.
The Bruins got bad news earlier Monday, when center Marc Savard was diagnosed with a moderate concussion as the result of a hit by Colorado’s Matt Hunwick on Saturday. The team said he flew back to Boston and there’s no timetable for his return.
Savard sustained a concussion in a game against Pittsburgh last March, and the injury kept him out of the rest of the regular season. He returned for the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Because of post-concussion syndrome, Savard missed the first 23 games of this season and didn’t play his first game until Dec. 2 against Tampa Bay. He has two goals and eight assists in 25 games.