The Los Angeles Kings and the Boston Bruins struggled at the end of last season as both teams lost six of their last seven games. Early this season, things haven't looked much better.
The Kings look to snap a three-game losing streak as they open a three-game homestand Friday against the Bruins, who have lost two of three to start the new season.
Los Angeles (1-3-0) got off to a strong start by beating the defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks 4-1 in the season opener in London. Since that game, however, the Kings have been outscored 14-5 during their three-game skid.
Boston (1-2-0), meanwhile, has lost two of its first three, and is 2-12-1 since March 17 of last season. The Bruins have averaged 1.5 goals in that stretch, and have tallied just five goals in their first three games this season.
Boston played solid defense against Anaheim on Wednesday, but managed only 19 shots in the 2-1 loss.
"We are trying to play tight D," Boston coach Claude Julien told the team's official Web site. "But I think we need to get some more scoring chances."
The Bruins could get an offensive boost if forward Marc Savard is cleared to return. Savard, Boston's leading scorer with 22 goals and 74 assists last season, missed Wednesday's game with what the team called a "core" injury. He could return as early as Friday.
"I hope so," Julien said. "He's still day to day (but) he felt better today. We're going to let him skate tomorrow morning and make that decision, then. It was optimistic, today. But not definite."
The Kings went 0-for-5 on the power play in a 5-1 loss at Dallas on Wednesday - their ninth straight loss to the Stars. Los Angeles is 1-for-15 with the man advantage since scoring three goals on seven opportunities in the season opener.
"There's no magic formula," Kings coach Marc Crawford said. "We have to execute better. We had three giveaways and they all ended up in the back of our net, which isn't characteristic of our club."
The Kings, though, were encouraged by the play of Kyle Calder, who scored the club's only goal. It was his 100th career tally, and first since signing with Los Angeles in the offseason.
"It is a fresh start," said Calder, who split time between Philadelphia and Detroit in 2006-07 after six seasons with Chicago. "I look forward to being here for a lot of years and when we get going here, having some fun."
Kings defenseman Jack Johnson assisted on Calder's goal for his first NHL point.
"I knew it would come sooner or later," said Johnson, who made his NHL debut late last season . "I'm just happy to get it out of the way. We were trying to get the ball rolling there and to get my first point when we were trying to get something going in the game made me the most happy about it."
This will be the first meeting between these teams since Jan. 12, 2006, when the Kings snapped a four-game winless streak against the Bruins with a 6-0 victory in Boston.