The problem, said Jamie Storr, was losing sleep.
Not after his play against Colorado on Sunday. Before it.
And Tuesday, he made sure he wasn’t going to go sleepless in Boston.
Storr turned back 24 Bruin shots and was rewarded when Olli Jokinen’s overtime goal gave the Kings a 2-1 victory before 15,083 at the FleetCenter.
It was a far cry from Storr’s performance against the Avalanche, which scored twice in five shots and ended his afternoon 5:09 after it started.
“The only difference is I got a pregame nap instead of having a one o’clock game,” Storr said.
Sunday’s game, a 7-2 Colorado victory, was played at 1 p.m. Denver time.
“It was the first day game I’ve ever played in my life,” Storr added.
But a siesta was hardly the only difference.
Tuesday’s game was against the Bruins, a far cry from the Avalanche in terms of style and speed. And Storr also had some help.
“I thought our defense did a good job of clearing the front of the net, clearing the rebounds, and our forwards did a good job of locking the middle of the ice,” King Coach Larry Robinson said.
That they did, beating Boston at its own game.
Or maybe not.
“We didn’t play well at all,” said an irate Boston Coach Pat Burns. “We didn’t skate. They were flying. We didn’t play our game against them.”
The Bruins’ game is hard checking.
And cutting off passing lanes like a Boston taxi driver at 5 o’clock.
And scoring off the other guys’ mistakes.
Problem was, the Kings did a pretty good Boston imitation.
“I think we played them pretty strong,” Robinson said. “We didn’t give them a lot of room. . . . I think in all fairness to our club, we made them not play a good game.”
Boston remains in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, five points ahead of Florida and the New York Rangers.
“We could have eliminated a couple of teams tonight,” Burns said, seething.
It’s a plight Robinson would like to share. The Kings pulled to within seven points of eighth-place Calgary, but there are only nine games to play.
Count on Stephane Fiset being in goal for most of those, as long as there is a mathematical chance for the Kings to make the playoffs.
Actually, Storr was in the net Tuesday largely because the Kings play at Detroit tonight and Robinson didn’t want Fiset to play back-to-back games this late in the season.
“Actually, if the games weren’t so important right now, I might have left [Storr] in there Sunday,” Robinson said. “But we need every point we can get.”
The Kings earned two points Tuesday because Jokinen was in the right place at the right time.
Jokinen had sent a pass into the corner, where Craig Johnson gathered it in and was looking for Donald Audette, who was covered. Jokinen was open in the middle of the ice, got the pass and backhanded the puck past Bruin goalie Byron Dafoe 3:54 into the extra period.
It was his first game-winning goal in the NHL. “It was probably the first backhanded goal I’ve ever scored in my life,” Jokinen said.
The goal broke a tie that was fashioned on third-period goals by the Kings’ Rob Blake, at the 5:40 mark, and Boston’s Sergei Samsonov, at 12:09.
“To be honest with you, that game with Colorado was probably the only bad one we’ve had in the last seven or eight, so I’m not surprised we came out strong,” Robinson said.
And in Storr’s case, rested.