ANAHEIM — Greetings again from SoCal, where the Bruins will face the Ducks Sunday to wrap up their three-game Western swing, which now stands 1-1-0 after Saturday night’s 4-2 win over the LA Kings at the Staples Center.
Patrice Bergeron (SH), Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly and Brad Marchand (ENG at the final horn) had the goals in LA, the Bruins breaking open the game with the Lucic-Kelly strikes that came only 1:19 apart early in the third period. Zdeno Chara played his 1,000th career game and made a key save in the frantic final moments when the Kings peppered Tim Thomas.
Update: The Bruins announced early Sunday afternoon from their Boston office that Michigan State defenseman Torey Krug, signed to a contract on Saturday, will report directly to the varsity. He will be in Boston Tuesday morning and is eligible to play in NHL games only through the remainder of the regular season. He is small (5-feet-9), and wired for offense.
Look for Thomas (31-19-0) in net again against the Ducks, although it would not be a shock if coach Claude Julien called Marty Turco out of the bullpen. With the Bruins still not among the teams to clinch a playoff spot, though, it’s more likely that Julien would stick with Thomas, who was his old Vezina-like self in LA, turning back 40 of 42 shots. Not many of the shots were point-blank, stellar opportunities by the Kings, but they kept up the pressure petty much from start to finish, other than a protracted lull in the first and second periods that had the Bruins outshooting the Kings, 11-0.
Rich Peverley, out the last five weeks with a knee injury, could make his return here at the Honda Center, but Julien said that will be a game-time decision. If he returns, that will mean a night in the press box for either Jordan Caron or Benoit Pouliot. Newcomer/returnee Brian Rolston picked up another assist Saturday night and is 2-7–9 over five games. He has made himself far too valuable to the attack to have him surrender his roster spot.
Puck drop: 8:05 p.m.
Record: Bruins, 43-28-3; Ducks, 32-32-11/
TV/radio info: NESN (Jack Edwards, Andy Brickley, Naoko Funayama), 98.5 The Sports Hub (Dave Goucher, Bob Beers)
Milan Lucic-David Krejci-Jordan Caron
Brad Marchand-Patrice Bergeron-Tyler Seguin
Benoit Pouliot-Chris Kelly-Brian Rolston
Daniel Paille-Gregory Campbell-Shawn Thornton
Zdeno Chara-Dennis Seidenberg
Greg Zanon-Andrew McQuaid
Andrew Ference-Johnny Boychuk
Scratches: Rich Peverley, Trent Whitfield, Mike Mottau and Joe Corvo
Storylines: Hall-of-Famer-to-be Teemu Selanne, who will be 42 in July, leads the Ducks in scoring with 62 points, two more points than Tyler Seguin, who leads Boston’s scoring list. The Finnish Flash, who scored 76 goals as a rookie in 1992-’93, hasn’t decided if he’ll play another season. Selanne’s career line: 1,334 games, 660 goals, 1,402 points. … If the Ducks were to lose, they would be all but mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. They have six games remaining and likely would need to win all of them. … A victory likewise would not clinch a playoff berth for the Bruins. … The Sabres won again Saturday, slipping the Western New Yorkers into the No. 8 seed in the East. With two weeks left to the regular season, it’s possible that they snatch the No. 7 seed and open against the Bruins in the playoffs. All of that could be decided April 7 at the Garden when the two clubs wrap up regular-season play in a matinee tilt. … The Bruins went 0-for-1 on the power play in LA, leaving them without a goal on the man advantage in 9 of their last 11 games. They are 3-for-21 (14.3 percent) on the PP since March 3, averaging fewer than two PPs per game in that stretch of 11 games. Their opponents have gone on the power play 31 times in that same stretch. … The Bruins have scored first in three of their last four games and have enjoyed substantial lead time (an average of just over 43 minutes) in those three games (all wins). They led for 23:22 in LA. … Hartford-born Nick Bonino, who played at Avon Old Farms and Boston University, is 1-3–4 in his last two games with the Ducks. … Patrice Bergeron’s goal in LA, a shorty, was his first goal since Feb. 25. … The Bruins fly home to Boston on Monday, will not practice, then report to the Garden Tuesday morning for that night’s game vs. the Bolts. The Caps are at the Garden Thursday night.