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Kings: No score (again) after opening period

1/7/2012

After the 1st period:

Kings 0, Columbus Blue Jackets 0

The good: The Kings killed three more penalties in a whistle-filled opening period. They’ve now wiped out 31 consecutive power plays and 78 of the last 81. The club record is 46 straight set during the 2001-02 season. Columbus has one of the more well known instigators in Derek Dorsett, who came into the game third in the league in major penalties. He tried to put his fingerprints on the game in the opening minute, mugging Jarret Stoll in front of the Columbus bench before middleweight enforcer Kyle Clifford came to the rescue, earning both two-minute roughing penalties. That’s the kind of brotherhood the Kings will need to show against a feisty opponent. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick stopped six shots for his fourth straight shutout period.

The bad: With about 30 seconds left in the period, Kings defenseman Jack Johnson dropped his stick and skated off the ice without putting much weight on his left leg. He headed straight to the locker room. We’ll keep an eye on that development. At least the Kings have Slava Voynov almost ready to return from an upper-body injury should Johnson be out for any length of time. Justin Williams had a first-period to forget, missing the net on a couple good scoring chances and earning two roughing penalties without even dropping his gloves. The Kings have not scored in the opening period of 27 of their last 37 games and remain a distant last in the league in first-period scoring with 16 goals in 42 games.

The in between: With 13 of the 16 teams in the Western Conference playing today, including the two teams below the Kings in the standings and the four teams above, there should be some movement in the standings. The third through 10th-place teams are separated by just five points. The Kings started the day in seventh. The Kings are trying to earn at least a point in 10 consecutive games. The club record is 11.