Trevor Moore tied the game with about 30 seconds left in regulation to force overtime before Andreas Athanasiou intercepted a turnover in the extra frame and capitalized on a breakaway game-winner to lead the Los Angeles Kings over the Boston Bruins, 3-2, at TD Garden Monday night.
Cal Petersen (16-8-1, 2.60 goals-against average, .904 save percentage in 26 games played) made 30 saves on 32 shots against in the win for Los Angeles.
Boston goaltender, Linus Ullmark (17-9-2, 2.81 goals-against average, .907 save percentage in 29 games played), stopped 25 out of 28 shots faced in the overtime loss.
The Bruins dropped to 34-18-5 (73 points) on the season and remain 4th in the Atlantic Division, as well as in command of the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Kings improved to 32-19-7 (71 points) on the season and trail the Calgary Flames by four points for the top spot in the Pacific Division.
Los Angeles is 2nd in their division, while Boston trails the Toronto Maple Leafs by three points for the final divisional playoff berth in the Atlantic.
The B’s finished their regular season series with the Kings 1-0-1 after winning, 7-0, in Los Angeles on Feb. 28th and losing, 3-2, in overtime Monday night in Boston.
Matt Grzelcyk (upper body) was a game-time decision and missed Monday night’s action, joining Jakub Zboril (right ACL) and Urho Vaakanainen (undisclosed) on Boston’s short list of players out of the lineup due to injury.
Bruins head coach, Bruce Cassidy, indicated to reporters ahead of the game that Vaakanainen is likely to return Thursday or Saturday.
With Grzelcyk out of the lineup, Jack Ahcan returned to the blue line, while Cassidy left his forward lines alone.
Ahcan fit right alongside Brandon Carlo on the second defensive pairing, while the rest of the defense saw no changes from Saturday night’s, 5-4, shootout win in Columbus to Monday night’s return to TD Garden.
Jesper Frödén and Anton Blidh served as Boston’s healthy scratches against the Kings.
Midway through the opening frame, Los Angeles defender, Mikey Anderson, tried to check Brad Marchand along the wall and paid the price of defensive awareness as Marchand absorbed the blow and made a reverse hit– rendering Anderson to the ice and clutching at his upper body as, presumably, he had the air knocked out of him at the very least.
Anderson skated off the ice with a little help from a Kings trainer and would not return to the night’s action with an upper body injury.
Moments later, Craig Smith won a footrace in Boston’s attacking zone and sent a shot that rebounded off of Petersen.
Charlie Coyle crashed the net and scooped up the loose puck before slidding a pass to Trent Frederic (4) for a one-timed redirection goal from the slot to give the Bruins a, 1-0, lead at 14:02 of the first period.
Coyle (16) and Smith (14) tallied the assists on Frederic’s goal as Boston’s third line continued its string of recent dominance.
The B’s didn’t hold onto the lead for long as the Kings evened things up 69 seconds after Frederic put Boston ahead.
Olli Määttä sent an errant pass to the slot off of David Pastrnak where Blake Lizotte (8) was in the right place at the right time to bury the rubber biscuit behind Ullmark– tying the game, 1-1, in the process.
Määttä (3) and Carl Grundström (4) notched the assists on Lizotte’s goal at 15:11 of the first period.
Entering the first intermission, the score was tied, 1-1, despite the Bruins holding an advantage in shots on goal, 12-11.
Early in the middle frame, Jake DeBrusk made no effort to stop on a drive to the net and crashed into Petersen with enough momentum to knock over the Los Angeles goaltender.
DeBrusk, as a result, cut a rut to the penalty box for goaltender interference at 6:00 of the second period– yielding the game’s first power play to the Kings.
Los Angeles’ power play was unable to convert on the ensuing skater advantage however.
Boston’s penalty kill stood tall once again when Mike Reilly was penalized for boarding at 10:49 as the Kings couldn’t muster anything past Ullmark on the resulting power play.
With less than a minute remaining in the second period, the Bruins won an offensive zone faceoff and worked the puck around the zone, whereby Coyle ended up with possession behind the goal line and brought it around the boards as Smith worked his way into the slot in front of the net.
Coyle setup Smith (11) for a catch and release goal on the glove side from the doorstep of Petersen’s crease– giving the Bruins a, 2-1, lead at 19:05 of the second period.
Coyle (17) and Reilly (10) had the assists on Smith’s goal as Boston carried a, 2-1, lead into the second intermission, as well as a, 20-17, advantage in shots on net.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, dominated in faceoff win percentage, 62-38, and went 0/2 on the power play heading into the final frame of regulation.
Boston got their first chance on the power play at 3:00 of the third period when Grundström sent the puck over the glass and out of play– yielding an automatic minor infraction for delay of game, but the Bruins’ power play went by the wayside.
With 2:10 remaining in the period, Kings head coach, Todd McLellan, pulled his goaltender for an extra attacker.
Los Angeles used their timeout after a stoppage in play with about 30.8 seconds left on the clock after Patrice Bergeron cleared the puck off the glass and out of play from his own zone.
The ensuing faceoff would take place in the Kings’ attacking zone and McLellan recognized an opportunity to draw up a last-ditch effort at evening the score.
Los Angeles won the faceoff and worked the rubber biscuit around the zone while Moore (10) cut to the net and cherry picked a deflection behind Ullmark to tie the game, 2-2, at 19:34 of the third period.
Arthur Kaliyev (9) and Sean Durzi (14) tallied the assists on Moore’s goal as the Kings forced overtime, while the Bruins gave up another goal in the final 30 seconds of any third period for the third time in their last four games.
At the horn, Derek Forbort exchanged pleasantries with Adrian Kempe, who, minutes earlier yanked down Charlie McAvoy away from the puck– much to the displeasure of McAvoy’s teammates– as the two players raced to the endboards in anticipation of a play.
Forbort and Kempe each received a pair of roughing minors at 20:00 of the third period– rending the two players out for the majority of the overtime action, should it take that long.
It didn’t take that long.
After 60 minutes of action, the Bruins and Kings were tied, 2-2, on the scoreboard despite Boston leading in shots on goal, 31-26, including an, 11-9, advantage in the third period.
As there were no penalties called in overtime, Los Angeles finished 0/2 on the power play, while Boston went 0/1.
McLellan sent out Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Moore to start the extra frame, while Cassidy countered with Coyle, DeBrusk and McAvoy.
Each team went through one or two shifts as both teams were in the midst of a change when Athanasiou intercepted a pass attempt from Coyle while the Bruins forward tried a spin-o-rama backhand pass back to one of his teammates in Boston’s attacking zone.
Athanasiou (8) broke free and rushed up the ice on a breakaway and elevated a shot high into the twine behind Ullmark for an unassisted game-winning goal to give Los Angeles a, 3-2, overtime win at 1:53 of the extra period.
The Bruins finished the night leading in shots on goal, 32-28, despite being outshot by the Kings, 2-1, in overtime alone.
Los Angeles left the building with two points in the win column and the advantage in blocked shots (19-12), giveaways (12-9), hits (35-29) and faceoff win% (58-42).
The Kings improved to 5-5 in overtime this season (7-7 past regulation), while the B’s fell to 4-3 in overtime and 6-5 overall after 60 minutes.
Boston also fell to 24-7-2 (10-4-1 at home) when scoring first, 8-5-2 (3-3-1 at home) when tied after one period and 23-1-3 (8-1-1 at home) when leading after the second period this season.
Los Angeles improved to 15-13-4 (9-4-3 on the road) when allowing the game’s first goal, 17-7-5 (8-3-3 on the road) when tied after the first period and 6-13-2 (4-5-1 on the road) when trailing after two periods in 2021-22.
The Bruins host Chicago on Thursday before the Arizona Coyotes pay a visit to the Hub on Saturday.
Boston hits the road for four games beginning on March 15th in Chicago and making their way through Minnesota, Winnipeg and Montréal before returning to TD Garden on March 24th.