The sting of last month's blowout loss to the Los Angeles Kings and former teammate Milan Lucic likely hasn't worn off for the Boston Bruins.
Their chances of avenging that defeat Saturday night don't appear too promising since the Kings' scoring attack has been on a roll of late.
Los Angeles (43-22-5) registered its finest scoring performance in eight seasons in Lucic's return to Boston, a 9-2 victory Feb. 9 in which he contributed a goal and two assists. That was also the Bruins' worst defensive effort since a 10-2 loss in Washington on March 3, 2008.
Lucic has three goals and seven assists in an eight-game point streak that matches a career high and ties the longest by a Kings player this season. Los Angeles has totaled 14 goals in its current three-game win streak and rallied for a 4-3 overtime victory against the visiting New York Rangers on Thursday.
Anze Kopitar scored the tying goal with 4:10 remaining in regulation, then tallied the winner 1:34 into the extra period. He has six goals and five assists in eight games this month.
"I thought we played a pretty good game from start to finish, especially the first couple periods we really were all over them. A couple of miscues in our own zone, pucks ended up in our net and we had to battle back," said captain Dustin Brown, who scored in his third straight game. "When we throw that many pucks at the net with guys around, good things happen. It was a good win for us."
The Kings have outscored opponents 24-11 while going 5-0-1 in their last six and are 7-1-1 in their past nine home games. They will seek their fifth win in six visits from Boston while trying to pad a four-point lead over Anaheim in the Pacific Division.
The Bruins (39-25-8) remained three points behind Florida in the Atlantic and one ahead of Tampa Bay after a 4-0 loss to Anaheim on Friday night.
"We didn't play a bad game,'' Boston forward Brad Marchand said. "They got a couple of early ones, and their goalie made a few really big saves at the right time."
Boston is 0-2-0 on its four-game road stretch after going 5-0-2 to open this month.
"We didn't come (out on the road) to go home empty-handed so we've got to find a way to get some points," coach Claude Julien said. "We're going to play another good team, and right now, we just need to dig a little deeper."
With Jonas Gustavsson starting Friday, the Bruins will likely give Tuukka Rask a chance to atone for his latest effort against the Kings. He was pulled in the second period in February after giving up five goals on 32 shots.
Rask was 2-1-0 with a 1.69 goals-against average in his previous three starts versus Los Angeles.
Kings netminder Jonathan Quick is 2-1-0 with a 1.34 GAA in his last three matchups with Boston and 4-1-0 with a 1.58 GAA in five lifetime home starts versus the Bruins.
Marchand has eight goals and an assist in his last seven games against the Kings.