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Kings seek win, playoff berth against Bruins

Victory and help could return Los Angeles to postseason for first time since 2014

by Curtis Zupke / NHL.com Correspondent

BRUINS (39-25-8) at KINGS (43-22-5)

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET; NESN, FS-W, NHL.TV

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Los Angeles Kings left wing Milan Lucic will play his former team for the second time this season Saturday when the Kings play the Boston Bruins at Staples Center.

Lucic is on a career-high tying eight-game point streak (three goals, seven assists). His 46 points in 69 games have surpassed his 44 points in 81 games last season.

"When you're on a streak, it has a lot to do with confidence and luck and all those type of things," Lucic said at the Kings' practice facility. "Things seem to be going right for me as of late, just having fun playing my game and playing hard and playing the right way, and usually when you do all those things, you do have a bit of puck luck and things kind of start to go your way. I just want to keep that going and keep getting wins."

Kings coach Darryl Sutter has repeatedly said their only immediate goal is to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Kings can clinch a berth on Saturday. One clinching scenario would be a win against Boston in regulation or overtime and a loss by the Arizona Coyotes to the Tampa Bay Lightning or a Coyotes win in a shootout.

Los Angeles defeat Boston 9-2 in Lucic's homecoming at Boston Feb.9. Fifteen of 18 skaters had at least a point, and the Kings had 57 shots. Sutter noted Boston's road record (23-9-3) and said they are third in the League in scoring.

"I think there's enough of a challenge for you," Sutter said.

The Bruins lost to the Anaheim Ducks, 4-0, on Friday. Lucic, who met up with his former teammates earlier this week, said he watched some of the game.

"I did a little bit, but with all the craziness of March Madness, I was watching that," Lucic said. "I got into that a lot yesterday, especially with all the upsets. But I was definitely hoping the Bruins could help us out a little bit last night, but the Ducks are playing well and they got themselves a big win."

Goalie Tuukka Rask is expected to start after Jonas Gustavsson played Friday. The Bruins have been outscored, 7-2, on the first two games of their California trip (0-2-0).

Here are the projected lineups:

BRUINS

Brad Marchand - Patrice Bergeron - Lee Stempniak

Loui Eriksson - David Krejci - David Pastrnak

Matt Beleskey - Ryan Spooner - Brett Connolly

Landon Ferraro - Noel Acciari - Tyler Randell

Zdeno Chara - Kevan Miller

Torey Krug - Adam McQuaid

John-Michael Liles - Dennis Seidenberg

Tuukka Rask

Jonas Gustavsson

Injured: Chris Kelly (femur)

Scratched: Joe Morrow, Zach Trotman, Jimmy Hayes

KINGS

Milan Lucic - Anze Kopitar - Kris Versteeg

Kyle Clifford - Jeff Carter - Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson - Vincent Lecavalier - Trevor Lewis

Dwight King - Nick Shore - Tyler Toffoli

Rob Scuderi - Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin - Alec Martinez

Brayden McNabb - Luke Schenn

Jonathan Quick

Jhonas Enroth

Injured: Matt Greene (shoulder), Marian Gaborik (knee), Jordan Nolan (upper body)

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Jamie McBain

Status report: Beleskey will play in his 400th NHL game. ... Andreoff and McBain stayed out as extras. Quick was off the ice first.

Who's hot: Eriksson has three goals and two assists in his past four games. ... Pastrnak has three goals and an assist in his past four games. ... Brown has goals in three straight games, his longest streak since March of 2013. ... Quick is three wins shy of his franchise record 39 set in 2010. ... Schenn has three assists in three games.

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