Boston Bruins

Mar 7, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Trevor Moore (12) reacts with his teammates after scoring the game tying goal during the third period against the Boston Bruins at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The first game back at TD Garden after almost two full weeks on the road came with a different kind of ‘back home’ letdown for the Bruins, as the Bruins blew a late lead and fell to the visiting Kings by a 3-2 overtime final.

Pushed to overtime when the Kings’ Trevor Moore tied things up with just 26 remaining in the third period, a careless giveaway by Charlie Coyle pushed Kings forward Andreas Athanasiou on a breakaway and towards Linus Ullmark. The Kings’ Double-A didn’t miss, and the Kings pulled off a gift-wrapped comeback victory on Boston ice.

“You gotta value the puck,” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said after the loss. “The play at the end is just not a good hockey play, let’s face it. We got what we deserved on that play, that’s for sure.”

Hours before the late-game meltdown, the Bruins struck first on the Kings’ Cal Petersen at the 14:02 mark of the opening frame when Craig Smith forced a turnover and open the door for Charlie Coyle to make a sweet feed to Trent Frederic for a wide-open look at the Los Angeles cage. Frederic did not miss, and connected for his fourth goal of the season, to give the B’s an early edge and keep their line’s surge rolling on with yet another marker after a successful road swing.

But the Kings returned the favor almost immediately, as Blake Lizotte tucked a goal through the Bruins’ Linus Ullmark just 51 seconds after Frederic’s goal, to bring the sides even at 1-1.

Knotted up through 20 minutes of play, the Bruins found some big boosts in the middle frame behind a diving glove save on Adrian Kempe by Ullmark before a successful ‘power kill’ where Brad Marchand and Patrice Bergeron simply put on a borderline disrespectful clinic of offensive possession against the Kings while down a man.

After another successful penalty kill, this one for a boarding called against Mike Reilly, the Bruins rode the momentum into a one-goal edge through 40 minutes of play behind a Craig Smith tally with 55 seconds remaining in the second period. It marked the first time that Smith has scored in three straight games since Apr. 2021.

The B’s played this game without defenseman Matt Grzelcyk. The 5-foot-9 Grzelcyk is dealing with an upper-body injury, according to the team. Grzelcyk’s absence paved the way for the return of Jack Ahcan for his fourth appearance of the season. Playing opposite Brandon Carlo on Boston’s second pairing, Ahcan overcame what Cassidy described as a slow start and finished with one shot, one hit, and one blocked shot in 14:17 of time on ice.

The Bruins will remain at home and host the Blackhawks at the Garden on Thursday night.

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Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.