LOS ANGELES (AP)—In the first period, the Boston Bruins couldn’t stay out of the penalty box and Felix Potvin couldn’t keep the Los Angeles Kings’ power play at bay. In the third period, he didn’t have to handle a single shot from his ex-teammates.
Rookie Patrice Bergeron scored his first NHL goal with 2:32 remaining to tie the score, and Mike Knuble got the winner 44 seconds later as the Bruins rallied from three goals down to beat the Kings 4-3 Saturday night in their only meeting of the season.
“I challenged them,” Bruins rookie coach Mike Sullivan said of his lecture to the team at the first break. “I asked the guys what it’s going to take for us to figure out how to win in this league.
“Teams that are successful don’t beat themselves—and taking undisciplined penalties is one of the easiest ways to beat yourselves. Emotion is a big part of this game, and we had it in the last two periods.”
Felix Potvin, facing the Kings for the first time since leaving as an unrestricted free agent, recorded his first victory for the Bruins and finished with 15 saves after giving up three power-play goals.
“It was fun coming back,” said Potvin, who signed with the Bruins a week before training camp and is making $2 million less than the $3.3 million he made last season. “I have a lot of good memories of this place. It was tough to leave, but it was sure sweet to come back and win a game like this.”
Luc Robitaille scored the first two goals of the game and Ziggy Palffy had three assists for the Kings. They appeared to be heading toward their fourth straight victory when McCarthy’s 25-foot shot beat Roman Cechmanek to the glove side with 6:41 left in the second period and triggered the Bruins’ rally.
Lubomir Visnovsky had a goal and an assist for the Kings, who recorded three power-play goals for the second straight game before the roof caved in on Cechmanek.
“Just 48 hours ago, we were talking about one of the more gratifying wins we’ve had—and obviously tonight we are talking about one of our biggest disappointments,” coach Andy Murray said. “I think if you are the Boston Bruins, you learn from a game like this how hard you have to work, and that you never quit and keep pushing and grinding.”
The Bruins outshot Los Angeles 11-0 in the third. It was the first time they did not allow a shot on net over an entire period since Nov. 13, 2001, against Minnesota.
“To get no shots in the third period is unacceptable,” Trent Klatt said. “We built ourselves a lead and just didn’t stick to our game plan. We didn’t work as hard as we should have for the whole 60 minutes.”
The Bruins failed to get a shot on net in the first eight minutes and were outshot 15-4 in the opening period. They narrowed the gap to 3-2 with 15:09 remaining when Rolston beat Cechmanek through a screen with a 55-foot slap shot from between the circles. The goal came a second after a hooking penalty to Kings defenseman Tomas Zizka had expired.
Bergeron, the youngest player in the NHL, got the Bruins even after setting up their first two goals. He knocked in a rebound of Rolston’s shot from the point while Kings rookie Tim Gleason was serving a high-sticking penalty. Knuble, reunited on a line with Glen Murray and Joe Thornton, converted a rebound of Murray’s shot from the right circle for his first goal of the season.
“We work well together,” said Knuble, coming off his first 30-goal season. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to play on the same line with those guys. It felt like we never missed a step and we got a lot of scoring chances.We were only able to get that one goal at the end, but that was enough.”
Palffy, serving as Kings captain while D Mattias Norstrom is out with a deep chest bruise, has 22 goals and 18 assists in 23 career games against Boston. His 243 points since the start of the 2000-01 season are the fourth-most in the NHL behind Jaromir Jagr, Markus Naslund and Alexei Kovalev. … Jaroslav Modry, playing his 300th game with the Kings, got an assist on Visnovsky’s goal. … The Bruins killed off all 10 short-handed situations in their previous two games after allowing three power-play goals in each of theirfirst two contests.