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game recap

Quick helps Kings clinch playoff berth

Makes saves on 27 of 28 shots against Bruins; L.A. wins fourth in row

by Curtis Zupke / Correspondent

Quick holds firm to preserve win

BOS@LAK: Quick denies final shot, Kings run clock out

3/19/16: Jonathan Quick denies the last shot the Bruins can muster as the clock runs out, giving the Kings a 2-1 win to secure a playoff spot

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LOS ANGELES -- Jonathan Quick has been the backbone of the Los Angeles Kings' recent success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and he was their foundation in the win that guaranteed they'll return to the postseason.

Quick made 27 saves on 28 shots to help the Kings clinch a playoff berth with a 2-1 victory against the Boston Bruins at Staples Center on Saturday.

The Kings (44-22-5), who missed the playoffs as defending Stanley Cup champions last season, clinched with their win and the Arizona Coyotes' 2-0 loss against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

"Last year, falling just short, definitely gives you motivation in the offseason to come in and have a good season," Los Angeles forward Milan Lucic said. "There's still 11 games left, and we want to finish as high up as we can in the standings. Hopefully, we keep playing that hard-nosed style of hockey. … It's a great accomplishment."

Video: BOS@LAK: Pearson tips in long-distance shot by Schenn

Lucic, who the Kings acquired from the Bruins in a June 26 trade, also missed out on the postseason in 2014-15, when Boston finished three points out of the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Los Angeles, which has won four in a row and is 7-0-1 in its past eight games, leads the Anaheim Ducks by six points for first place in the Pacific Division.

The Bruins (39-26-8) went 0-3-0 on their California trip.

Alec Martinez scored at 2:40 of the second period to put the Kings ahead 2-0.

Boston forward Tyler Randell scored with a shot from the left circle at 5:46 of the second to make it 2-1. Noel Acciari jammed up Anze Kopitar behind the net, and Kopitar's clearing attempt was intercepted by Randell.

Video: BOS@LAK: Martinez cranks in a one-timer in the 2nd

The Bruins could not tie it despite three power plays in the third period, when they outshot the Kings 10-2.

"Disappointing, to say the least," Boston coach Claude Julien said. "You can like your team's performance in the second and third, but … we're going home empty-handed. It's not what we came here for."

Quick, whose 37 wins are two shy of his NHL career-high and second in the League, made two highlight-reel saves on Bruins forward Brad Marchand, one with the right pad in the first and the other with his blocker in the third.

"[Quick's] the best goalie in the world," Martinez said. "I don't know what really else to say. But he's huge for our hockey club. You feel like a broken record when you talk about it all the time. But he was unbelievable back there."

Video: BOS@LAK: Randell puts Bruins on the board in the 2nd

Tanner Pearson opened the scoring with 51 seconds left in the first period on a redirect of Luke Schenn's point shot. Pearson has an NHL career-high 13 goals; he scored 12 in a 42-game, injury-shortened 2014-15 season.

Los Angeles outshot Boston 13-5 in the first, and Julien harshly critiqued the Bruins' effort in the period.

"We weren't hard enough," Julien said. "Too many guys light in the stick, light in certain areas. If you want to play in this league, I expect guys to be capable. It's not about being physical. It's being capable in those situations. A development league is the American [Hockey] League. This is a league here where I expect players to handle that."

Kings forward Kris Versteeg left in the third period after he blocked a shot.

Video: Kings clinch playoff spot with 2-1 win over Bruins

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