Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Kings: Smyth strikes again, ties score
By Dan Arritt
After the 2nd period: Kings 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 2
The good: Ryan Smyth continues to be a pain in the side for the Blue Jackets. He whirled out from behind the net and shoved the puck past the goal line just before the net was dislodged. The play was reviewed and the goal quickly verified, tying the score, 2-2, with 1:22 remaining in the period. It was Smyth’s 17th goal and 39th point in 35 career games against Columbus, and this one couldn’t have come at a better time. Justin Williams was credited with one of the assists on the play, extending his point streak to a career-best 11 games, and Drew Doughty got his second assist of the game. The Kings continue to be strong on the penalty kill, wiping out all four extra-man situations so far and running their home mark to 35-of-35 on the season. Of course, the Blue Jackets came in last in the league in power-play efficiency, so their ineptitude has helped.
The bad: The Kings gave up another goal from a prime scoring area. Columbus defenseman Rostislav Klesla scored his first of the season on a slap shot from between the hash marks, ringing the puck off the cross-bar and into the net at the 11:22 mark. The goal came just 12 seconds after Columbus had killed a power play. The first goal by the Blue Jackets came 15 seconds after the Kings had killed a power play. The second defense pair for the Kings, Matt Greene and Jack Johnson, are both minus-four over the last five periods.
The in between: The Kings still have a period to extend their home-winning streak to nine games and head out on a four-game road trip on a positive note. They’ve outshot the Blue Jackets, 24-16, taking a page out of the San Jose playbook and sending plenty of shots at Columbus goalie Steve Mason. Unfortunately, the Blue Jackets are doing a good job of getting in the way of most pucks.