BOSTON - On certain occasions throughout this season, the Bruins have felt they were fortunate to come away with two points given the uneven state of their game. But on Tuesday night, they left TD Garden feeling that they deserved more.
Boston was on the verge of kicking off the homestand with a victory over the Los Angeles Kings, but a late L.A. goal sent things to overtime, where the Bruins had two breakaways - one each from Anders Bjork and Patrice Bergeron - turned away by Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.
Shortly after Bergeron was denied, Kings captain Anze Kopitar connected for the winner with 1:37 remaining in the extra session, handing the Bruins a 4-3 loss for their sixth setback in the last seven games.
"Listen, there's 82 of these. I thought we certainly played well enough to win," said Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy. "Not very happy getting only 1 point tonight, some nights you're satisfied. In terms of how we played the game, the process part of it, there was better things than, say, two weeks ago."
The Bruins battled back from two one-goal deficits, tying the game twice on tallies from Danton Heinen (on the power play with 59 seconds left in the first) and Bergeron (from high in the slot with 9:16 left in the second).
Boston later grabbed a 3-2 lead on a long-distance floater from Brandon Carlo that skipped through Quick just 1:24 into the third, but Matt Roy's marker with 2:01 remaining and Quick on the bench for an extra attacker sent things to overtime.
"We played well. We played great…we deserved to win, but in this league that's not always the case," said Tuukka Rask, who made 23 saves on 27 shots. "As a goalie, you have to make that one save and today that wasn't the case. But I thought we played great."
Video: BOS Recap: Bruins lose to Kings in overtime
The Bruins were stout defensively for much of the night - at one point in the third, the Kings went roughly 10 minutes without a shot - but Los Angeles capitalized on their limited opportunities. The Kings struck just 2:17 into the game on Blake Lizotte's power-play tally and went on to take a 2-1 lead on Adrian Kempe's shorthanded breakaway only 2:45 into the second period. L.A.'s tying tally with 2:01 to go came on a Roy slapshot through traffic.
"It seems every one we gave up went in the back of the net," said Cassidy. "Had plenty of chances to extend the lead in the third. We were playing the right way, seemed to be in control…kind of a harmless play where we didn't manage the puck originally on the retrieval, could have done a better job. All of a sudden, it's in the net.
"Then we get a power play before that, [Brad Marchand] has a chance…good save, kind of half-misses a shot, and all of a sudden they're on a breakaway. We didn't defend that very well, obviously. First goal was just a puck battle on the wall, bang-bang play again. So, everything seemed to happen quick.
"I don't think we gave up much in terms of defending; offensively, certainly created enough to win the game, from my estimation, but they scored a lot of situational goals so it's really nothing going on five-on-five for them, which is a positive. That's the way it goes some nights."
Video: Bruins Postgame: B's Fall 4-3 in OT
A Fight to Finish
Marchand had the opportunity to put the Bruins ahead, 2-1, early in the second but didn't get a ton on a one-timer, leading to a Los Angeles rush up the ice and an eventual shorty by Kempe. It was just one of a several Grade-A chances - Bjork and Bergeron missed on breakaways in OT - that were sure to keep the Black & Gold from some sleep.
"Some of it was we didn't stop the puck at the other end, too," said Cassidy. "I mean, you don't give up [much], you expect certain key saves at key times. We didn't get them. And then we didn't extend the lead at the key times, so I look at both sides. Certainly did enough offensively to win the hockey game, played well enough defensively, had some breakdowns that ended up in our net, but so did they."
Heinen Chips In
One of the bright spots for the Bruins was Heinen, who found himself promoted from third-line right wing to second-line right wing by the end of the night. The 24-year-old picked up a power-play tally in the first period when a Marchand feed deflected off of Heinen's skate. Heinen went on to assist on Carlo's third-period goal after some strong work to free the puck in the corner.
"He's a guy that we rely on for secondary scoring," said Cassidy. "He does play on the power play for either the first or second unit; we flip flop him and Jake [DeBrusk], so we trust him to be able to contribute there. Put him up with [David] Krejci and DeBrusk in the third…I move him all over the place because I feel he can figure out what's required on that line on the fly. He's a good, cerebral player. He works hard. Danton is trying to keep growing his game, and he does a good job for us most nights."
Video: LAK@BOS: Heinen scores a PPG with his skate