It couldn’t have been a sweeter, more eventful day for the Kings.
On the 50th Anniversary of the franchise’s inception with alumni on the scene, the team donning its vintage Forum gold uniforms, Milan Lucic made his return to where his NHL career began, where it blossomed.
Just about everything went right for the Kings, for Lucic in the team’s 9-2 win over the Boston Bruins Tuesday night at TD Garden.
The Kings’ 57 shots recorded was the first time they hit the 50-mark since March of 2014. The Bruins hadn’t allowed an opponent so many shots since March of 1965, before the Kings even existed.
Nine different players scored for the Kings. The last time the Kings did that was on January 21, 1987 against Pittsburgh. Nine different players also recorded two points on Tuesday.
Boston was the first team to strike Tuesday night; Brad Marchand pounding home a rebound on a Bruins’ power play five minutes into the contest.
Down a goal in the waning moments of the first, Jeff Carter tied the game, scoring his 14th goal of the season on the Kings’ first power play of the night when his pass attempt ricochet off the stick of Boston’s Kevan Miller and past Tuukka Rask.
Marian Gaborik followed suit just over a minute later, giving the Kings a 2-1 lead with 16 seconds left in the opening frame when he fired a backhand high past Rask from a gorgeous Vincent Lecavalier pass behind Boston’s net.
Dressing in his first game since January 24, Andy Andreoff added to the Kings’ lead when he walked into a Bruins turnover deep in Boston’s zone, chipping the recovered puck past Rask’s glove side.
Just past the midway point of the game, Drew Doughty connected for another Kings power play goal, dropping down low in the zone, banking home a rebound off of a Marian Gaborik shot from behind the goal-line off the back of Rask and in.
A mere 31 seconds after Doughty gave the Kings a 4-1 lead, Dwight King padded it, slamming home a rebound from a Jeff Carter shot as the Kings fled into Boston’s zone on a three-on-two rush.
Tuukka Rask was pulled following King’s goal in favor of Jonas Gustavsson.
With just over a minute to play in the second, Trevor Lewis extended the Kings’ lead to 6-1, when he circled into Boston’s slot, jamming home a rebound from a Jake Muzzin shot after an extended period of possession in the Bruins’ zone.
In the third, Milan Lucic connected to give the Kings a 7-1 lead when he buried a rebound from Anze Kopitar’s pass attempt while the two skated in on a two-on-one sequence.
Tyler Randell scored a minute after Lucic’s goal to give the Bruins their second goal of the evening.
With just over six minutes to play in regulation, Luke Schenn pounded home his first goal with the Kings, firing a slap shot low past Gustavsson’s blocker-side to put the Kings up 8-2.
The final goal of the evening came off the stick of the night came off the stick of Dustin Brown, extending the Kings’ lead to 9-2 with three minutes to play, the game’s eventual final score.
Nine different players led the Kings in points scored (2), Jake Muzzin, Trevor Lewis and Jeff Carter in shots taken (6), Brayden McNabb and Milan Lucic in hits delivered (4), five different players in shots blocked (3), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (27:21). Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in the win.
The Kings will continue their season-long seven-game road trip Thursday night when they take on the New York Islanders at the Barclays Center, where the puck is scheduled to drop just after 4:00 PM PST.