LOS ANGELES -- David Pastrnak scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and the Boston Bruins defeated the Los Angeles Kings 4-1 at Staples Center on Thursday for their fifth win in six games under coach Bruce Cassidy.
Brad Marchand, Dominic Moore and David Krejci scored for the Bruins (31-24-6), who were coming off a 5-3 loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. Backup goalie Anton Khudobin made 27 saves in his first start since Feb. 11.
"It's not easy to do in this league, play big, heavy teams back to back, and [the Kings are] a good hockey club," said Cassidy, who took over Feb. 7 after Claude Julien was fired.
WATCH: All Bruins vs. Kings highlights
Defenseman Kevin Gravel scored his first NHL goal for the Kings (29-27-4), who have lost four of their past five games and trail the Calgary Flames by four points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. Peter Budaj made 21 saves.
It was the first win for the Bruins at Staples Center since March 24, 2012, ending a three-game losing streak.
"We played a strong game, and it was great for us. It's a huge win for us," Pastrnak said.
Video: BOS@LAK: Khudobin stretches to deny Carter's backhand
Marchand scored unassisted at 3:16 of the first period to give Boston a 1-0 lead. He gathered the puck after it bounced over Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin's stick in the Bruins zone, rushed down the right side, and beat Budaj with a wrist shot from the right faceoff circle for his 26th goal.
Gravel tied the game 1-1 with a power-play goal with 1:18 left in the first. Rookie forward Adrian Kempe got to the rebound of an Alec Martinez slap shot and threaded a pass through the legs of Boston defenseman Kevan Miller to Gravel.
It was the second assist for Kempe in five NHL games. He got his first NHL assist in a 2-1 win against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
The Bruins appeared to take a 2-1 lead when Peter Cehlarik beat Budaj with 1:03 left in the first, but Kings coach Darryl Sutter challenged, and the goal was overturned after video review showed Pastrnak was offside on the play.
Pastrnak scored a power-play goal at 4:43 of the second to put Boston ahead 2-1.
"It was a good bounce, and sometimes it helps you and sometimes it doesn't go your way," said Pastrnak, whose 26 goals are tied with Marchand for the Bruins lead.
Moore (18:58) and Krejci (19:52) scored empty-net goals in the third period.
Boston, the New York Islanders and Toronto Maple Leafs each have 68 points. The Bruins trail the Maple Leafs for third in the Atlantic Division and the Islanders for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference because they've played one more game than each.
Video: BOS@LAK: Gravel scores PPG for first NHL goal
Goal of the game
Pastrnak scored when he broke his stick on a one-timer from the top of the left circle. He said he believes Budaj was caught off-guard by the slow, floating shot.
Video: BOS@LAK: Pastrnak breaks stick on knuckleball PPG
Save of the game
Budaj prevented Pastrnak from scoring a second goal when he gloved a shot from close range at 7:09 of the third period.
Video: BOS@LAK: Budaj robs Pastrnak at the doorstep
Highlight of the game
Marchand pounced on the puck after it eluded Muzzin and was off to the races on a 2-on-1 with Patrice Bergeron against Gravel. He elected to keep it and beat Budaj to the short side from the right faceoff dot.
Video: BOS@LAK: Marchand beats Budaj to open scoring
Unsung performance of the game
Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara had five blocked shots and three hits in 23:51 of ice time.
They said it
"We really tried to make sure we had numbers coming back and did a good job of getting pucks out of the zone. They did have a few opportunities in there, but [goalie Anton Khudobin] again was very strong tonight." -- Bruins forward Brad Marchand
"I knew the puck was out. It's obviously why we challenged it. You could see the puck was out. In a fast time like that, we ran a line across there and could tell where the Bruins' skates were. It was clear it was offsides." -- Kings coach Darryl Sutter on his successful challenge of Peter Cehlarik's goal late in the first period
Need to know
Pastrnak's goal ended an 0-for-10 stretch for the Bruins power play. ... Moore is two goals shy of 100 for his NHL career. ... Boston is 3-6-2 in the second game of back-to-back sets. ... Sutter remains one victory from passing Andy Murray (215) for most wins as coach in Kings history. He coached his 1,263rd NHL game Thursday, passing Jacques Lemaire for 13th in League history. ... Los Angeles is 1-5-0 in its past six home games.
Bruins: At the Dallas Stars on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, NHL.TV)
Kings: Host the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN1, FS-W, PRIME, NHL.TV)
Video: Pastrnak, Khudobin lift Bruins past Kings, 4-1