Los Angeles Hockey: Columbus Blue Jackets

Kings overpower Blue Jackets on road

February, 6, 2013
2/06/13
5:07
PM PT


COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The win was important to Jeff Carter -- and not because he was booed every time he touched the puck. Mike Richards provided late insurance with his first goal of the season and Jonathan Quick stopped 18 shots to lead the Los Angeles Kings over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on Tuesday night.

For the full story, click this link.

Kings: Jack Johnson makes former team pay

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
7:28
PM PT
Drew DoughtyJamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty ImagesDrew Doughty takes a shot that's off the mark during Thursday's game at Columbus.
Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Kings 1

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: Traded from the Los Angeles Kings to the Columbus Blue Jackets two weeks earlier, Columbus defenseman Jack Johnson scored what turned out to be the winning goal Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena in Columbus, Ohio, lifting the league’s worst team to its fourth consecutive victory.

THE STAT: The Kings can’t seem to win the games they're supposed to win. They had an opportunity to move back into the top eight in the Western Conference standings with a victory, but instead fell to 9-9-3 against the other bottom eight teams.

TURNING POINT: With the score tied 1-1 in the final minute of the first period, Johnson jumped into the play, located a loose puck in the high slot and shot it past Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier with 8.5 seconds remaining. It was Johnson’s second goal in two games and marked the first time in his career he has hit double digits in goals.

HOT: Kings right wing Dustin Brown made a beautiful pass to Anze Kopitar for a short-handed goal that tied the score 1-1 with 7:38 remaining in the opening period. Brown has points in six consecutive games, his longest points streak since he scored in seven straight in December 2010. The Kings have also killed 23 straight penalties.

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Kings: Loss would be unfashionable to Blue Jackets

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
10:16
AM PT
Kings (31-23-12, 74 points) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (21-38-7, 49 points) at Nationwide Arena, 4 p.m. PT

Five storylines to track:

1. Spoilers – The Blue Jackets are suddenly playing well and making life difficult on their Western Conference co-inhabitants, at least the ones who still feel like they have a shot at making the postseason. Columbus has scored a combined 10 goals in three straight wins, a sure sign the Kings can’t afford to take the Blue Jackets lightly. They made that mistake Jan. 7 at Staples Center and lost, 1-0, a game that will forever be remembered for Dustin Penner's upper-pancake injury.

2. Bottoms up – The Kings are no longer the lowest-scoring team in the league. Hip Hip Hooray. They tore off that three-month-old label by scoring 13 goals in the last three games, leaving Minnesota dead-last in that category. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to nominate the Kings as the hottest offense in the league. The turning point seemed to arrive Feb. 23, when they acquired Jeff Carter from the Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson. Carter has two goals in six games since coming to L.A.. Not game-changing material, but his presence seems to be opening up opportunities for his teammates, and they’ve delivered.

3. Opposite sides – Johnson is already making his presence felt in the Buckeye State. He has a goal and two assists in the last two games, both victories against the Coyotes. He’s a plus-4 in those games after starting minus-4 in his first two appearances with Columbus. His plus-minus rating was a big negative during his stay in L.A. It will be interesting to see how he interacts with his former teammates in his first appearance against the Kings. Both, undoubtedly, know each other very well.

4. Bernier in net? – If the timing of who skates off the ice first during practice is any indication, it appears back-up goalie Jonathan Bernier will get the nod against Columbus. Bernier hasn’t received a lot of work lately, but has been sharp when called upon. He hasn’t allowed more than two goals in his last seven starts and is showing the hockey world why he was a first-round draft pick in 2006. This is the same goalie who was on fire at the end of last season too.

5. Goalie plan – Columbus back-up goalie Curtis Sanford was in goal for all three previous games against the Kings this season, but it appears Steve Mason will be between the pipes against the Kings. Mason should be a welcome sight for L.A., as he lost four of his last five starts against the Kings with a 4.96 goals-against average in that span.

Kings: Dean Lombardi needs a big return from Jeff Carter

February, 23, 2012
2/23/12
8:22
PM PT
Jeff Carter and Jack JohnsonGetty ImagesJeff Carter, left, is coming to L.A., while Jack Johnson is on his way to Columbus

This might be the equivalent of a career Hail Mary.

In an effort to save a season that’s spinning closer and closer to the drain, Kings general manager Dean Lombardi threw the team a lifeline Thursday evening, trading defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional draft pick to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for high-scoring forward Jeff Carter.

Lombardi’s accuracy on this all-or-nothing heave will likely determine his future in L.A.

With the Kings dead last in the NHL in goals scored for three months now and losers of four in a row, Lombardi hopes Carter will give the team a shot in the arm at the three-quarters pole of this season and way beyond. He’s signed through 2022 at $5.25 million a year.

Lombardi isn’t even asking Carter to be the player who averaged 36 goals the previous four seasons, just give him something close.

“Right now, I’d take 20,” Lombard said during a conference call Thursday evening.

Of course, to a similar degree, he was expecting Dustin Penner to continue on his career scoring plane when he traded for him this time last year. Penner, now the fifth-highest paid player on the Kings, came to L.A. at the trade deadline having averaged 24 goals over the previous four-plus seasons in Edmonton and Anaheim.

He has scored seven in 63 games for the Kings, and was a healthy scratch five of the last six because of inconsistent efforts. Definitely not money well spent.

The trade did bring some immediate satisfaction to at least two people not involved in the deal. Slava Voynov will be called up from the AHL to fill Johnson’s spot on the blue line. Now that there’s no longer an abundance of defensemen on the Kings' roster, he won’t need to worry about being the odd man out as the only player who can’t be subjected to waivers.

The other person who’s likely pounding his chest is Kings center Mike Richards, who played with Carter in Philadelphia before they were traded on the same day last June.

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Kings: Better play needed on upcoming road trip

February, 2, 2012
2/02/12
6:42
AM PT


LOS ANGELES-- When you’re facing a team as lousy as the Columbus Blue Jackets, playing well for brief stretches is usually enough to suitcase a win.

Playing that way against the league's other 29 teams? Probably not.

But thanks to a last-second power-play goal by defenseman Drew Doughty, the Kings escaped with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night at Staples Center, their final home game until Feb. 15.

Except for a couple smooth scoring plays by Justin Williams and Dustin Penner, the game was neither pretty nor progressive, save for the two points the Kings earned in the standings.

The defense twice gave away one-goal leads against a team with the worst record in the league--by a whopping 11 points--and was coming off a 6-0 thrashing the night before in San Jose. The Kings helped the Blue Jackets overcome the adversity by gliding through long stretches without so much as managing a shot on goal. They generally played as if their minds, bodies and luggage were already in St. Louis, where they open their season-long six-game road trip Friday night.

Doughty was the first to admit that the Kings can perform much better.

“It wasn’t a great game for us,” he said. “We’ve got to make sure we learn from the wrong things we did and build off this win.”

Williams gave the Kings a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal midway through the first period, extending his points streak to nine games. That was a good thing.

They gave it right back when defenseman Rob Scuderi committed a turnover in his own zone and goalie Jonathan Quick gave up a long rebound off a shot by Vinny Prospal. Quick's momentum carried him out of the crease, leaving a wide open net for Derek Dorsett.

A bad thing.

Penner took back the one-goal lead after a nifty steal at the Columbus blue line. He skated in and beat Columbus goalie Curtis Sanford with a swift wrist shot for an unassisted goal at the 14:32 mark of the second.

Good thing.

But the Kings couldn’t hold that one either. Quick saved John Moore's 55-foot slap shot early in the third period, but again allowed a long rebound and got caught out of the crease. Fourth-line forward Colton Gillies jumped on the loose puck and shot it into another open net for his first goal in 44 games this season.

Very bad thing.

“When you have a goal lead coming into the third period, you’ve got to lock that down,” Williams said. “So, we have to clean up a few things, obviously. They scored a couple goals off our turnovers. They got, essentially, what we gave them.”

Fortunately, the Blue Jackets gave the Kings one last power play when Sammy Pahlsson was sent to the box for holding Williams with 1:06 left in regulation. After a mad scramble in front of the net in the closing seconds, Doughty got to a loose puck and shot it past Sanford just as the horn sounded, muffling the sighs of relief on the Kings’ bench.

“We were real average, quite honest,” said Kings coach Darryl Sutter. “The difference between this game and the last time we played Columbus (a 1-0 loss on Jan. 14), was special teams. The last time we had three power plays and didn’t score, and this time we scored two power-play goals.”

As the Kings head on the road for two weeks, they won’t be facing any travel-weary teams who were beaten up the night before in another unfriendly arena. They won't be able to snooze through long stretches and still pad their point total.

Simply put, they won't get away with just being average.

Kings: Long layoff comes to an end vs. Columbus

February, 1, 2012
2/01/12
1:04
PM PT
Kings (24-16-10, 58 points) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (13-31-6, 32 points) at Staples Center, 7:30 p.m.

Five storylines to track:

1. Back to the grind: Eight days off can send a team in a lot of different directions. The Kings haven’t played since Jan. 23, a solid 4-1 victory against visiting Ottawa. Before this week, they hadn’t had three days between games since mid-November. The Kings came out of the All Star break last season with a 1-0 shootout loss in Minnesota, then proceeded to win eight of their next 11 to move into a playoff spot, which they held the remainder of the regular season.

2. Back on the hunt: The penalty-kill unit has been one of the bright spots during the first half of the season, at one point wiping out 42 consecutive power plays by the opponent. The unit was springing a few leaks heading into the break, however, as the Kings have allowed at least one power-play goal in the last seven games. It’s the second time this season the Kings have had some hiccups on the penalty kill. They allowed at least one man-advantage goal in eight straight games in early November.

3. Quick it is: Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was the first player off the ice at Wednesday’s morning skate, a clear indicator he will make his 43rd start of the season. Columbus has the worst record in the NHL, Quick just returned from a long weekend in Ottawa for the All-Star Game and the Kings begin a seven-game road trip with back-to-back games Friday in St. Louis and Saturday in Carolina, but coach Darryl Sutter obviously doesn’t want to get caught looking ahead. After all, the Blue Jackets beat the Kings, 1-0, just 3 weeks ago. Quick is 7-5 lifetime against Columbus with a 2.09 goals-against average.

(Read full post)

Kings: Power play short circuits in 1-0 loss

January, 7, 2012
1/07/12
6:03
PM PT


LOS ANGELES -- That was the type of performance that got the last coach fired.

The Kings hosted the worst team in the NHL on Saturday afternoon, were supplemented with eight power plays against the league’s second-poorest penalty-kill unit, two of which were two-man advantages, and still couldn’t score in the 1-0 loss to the Blue Jackets at Staples Center.

It was the first shutout win by Columbus since Feb. 22.

“A game like tonight, we lost because of the power play,” said center Anze Kopitar, a mainstay on the special teams.

The Kings came into the game 27th out of 30 teams in power-play efficiency, having scored just one man-advantage goal in the last 23 opportunities. The Blue Jackets countered with the league’s 29th penalty-kill unit. Something had to give and it sure wasn't Columbus.

“I don’t care what they are,” Kings center Jarret Stoll said of the Blue Jackets. “It’s about us, how we move the puck, how we pass the puck, shoot the puck, when we shoot, when we don’t, just a lot of things. You’ve got to all be in sync and if you’re not, it’s hard to score.”

As the league’s lowest-scoring team, the Kings saw their goals-per-game average dip from 2.07 a game to 2.03, dangerously close to the NHL’s unofficial Mendoza line. They failed to score a first-period goal for the 27th time in the last 37 games, and own 16 first-period goals in 42 games this season, by far the lowest total in the league.

Not the best way to start the second half of the season.

“We have to find a way to score goals,” said Kings captain Dustin Brown. “That has kind of been the problem for us all year. The answer wouldn’t be talking about it; we have to figure out a way to get a goal.”

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Kings: Columbus takes 1-0 lead on Clitsome goal

January, 7, 2012
1/07/12
3:09
PM PT
After the 2nd period:

Columbus Blue Jackets 1, Kings 0

The good: Kings defenseman Jack Johnson returned for the second period after gingerly skating off the ice late in the first. They’ll need him at the start of the third, as the Kings will be on the power play the first four minutes after Sammy Pahlsson committed back-to-back tripping and cross-checking penalties in the closing seconds, and the Kings managed to hold onto the puck until the horn. They are overdue for a power-play goal, getting one in their last 27 man-advantage situations. They’re 0-for-4 today. The penalty-kill unit wiped out their 33rd and 34th consecutive penalties in the period. The first was killed thanks to a nice block by defenseman Drew Doughty on a cross-ice pass that appeared destined for an open attacker on the opposite side. The Kings held the Blue Jackets without a shot on goal for the first half of the period. The second half was another story.

The bad: The Kings also managed to kill a couple of their own penalties. Kyle Clifford has been doing an admirable job of policing the Blue Jackets whenever they start jabbing at the Kings, but he went off for an ill-advised hooking penalty in his offensive zone with 14 seconds left on a power play. As stated above, the Kings killed that penalty, but before they could get control of the puck Derrick Brassard slid a cross-ice pass by the feet of Kings defenseman Willie Mitchell and onto the waiting blade of Grant Clitsome, who scored before goalie Jonathan Quick could slide over.

The in between: This matinee continues to have the feel of a real slobberknocker. Kevin Westgarth and Jared Boll squared off for a nice heavyweight bout, with both landing heavy rights. Westgarth is in the lineup because Dustin Penner was a late scratch due to an upper-body injury. Good thing he's around because the Blue Jackets are quite chippy today.

Kings: No score (again) after opening period

January, 7, 2012
1/07/12
2:13
PM PT
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.

Kings: Second half of season starts with Blue Jackets

January, 7, 2012
1/07/12
7:03
AM PT
Kings (20-14-7, 47 points) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (10-24-5, 25 points) at Staples Center, 1 p.m.

1. Halfway home – Sportswriters love to make note of milestones, anniversaries and streaks. NHL head coaches? Not really. That’s why it was so refreshing when Kings coach Darryl Sutter reminded the media after the 1-0 overtime victory Thursday against the visiting Coyotes that his team had just played Game No. 41, the halfway point of the season. Thanks to a 5-0-3 record since Sutter took over three days before Christmas, the Kings are just inside the top eight in the Western Conference standings. Based on the last two seasons, they’ll need to be even better in the second half to make the playoffs, as 94 points wasn’t good enough to make the cut the last two years.

2. Opportunity to feast – Only one team has played worse than the Ducks this season and that’s the Blue Jackets. Just how bad? They’ve yet to win two games in a row. They’ve lost eight of nine coming in, pretty much showing the Ducks they mean business when it comes to securing the No. 1 draft pick. The Kings need to oblige with a clear-cut victory against this sub-.300 team, and not let them hang around long enough to steal a victory. It’s an attitude the Kings haven’t used often enough against the league’s weaker crop this season, evident by their 4-4-0 record against teams that currently own a losing record.

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Kings: Dustin Brown's goal provides much-needed win

December, 15, 2011
12/15/11
7:28
PM PT
Drew DoughtyRussell LaBounty/US PresswireThe Kings' Drew Doughty carries the puck during Thursday's 2-1 win at Columbus.
Kings 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: The Kings didn’t improve on their woeful scoring average, but they managed to end a five-game losing streak against the NHL’s worst team Thursday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Dustin Brown deflected in the game winner off a slap shot from Drew Doughty with 11 minutes 48 seconds left, and goalie Jonathan Quick had 24 saves to preserve the victory.

THE STAT: The Kings, who came in as the lowest-scoring team in the NHL at 2.13 goals a game, scored two or fewer for the 10th consecutive game.

TURNING POINT: The Kings had taken 78 consecutive shots on goal without scoring before defenseman Davis Drewiske, a healthy scratch in 26 of the previous 30 games, sent a slap shot from the left point that cut through traffic and into the net to tie the score, 1-1, with 15:27 left in the third period. Less than four minutes later, the Kings took the lead for good on Brown’s goal. It was Drewiske’s first goal since October 2009.

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Kings: Blue Jackets may provide relief for scoring woes

December, 15, 2011
12/15/11
11:25
AM PT
Kings (13-13-4, 30 points) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (9-17-4, 22 points) at Nationwide Arena, 4 p.m. (PT)

Five storylines to track:

1. Nine is enough – By now, every member of the Kings’ organization, their spouses, in-laws, neighbors and maybe even the gardeners are well aware they have a scoring issue, one that cost Terry Murray his job as coach earlier this week. They remain last in the league in goals per game at 2.13 and haven’t scored more than two in the previous nine. The last time they went this long without putting a ‘3’ on the scoreboard was during the 2005-06 season. If the Kings are going to break out of their scoring slump, they might need a little help from a spongy defense and Columbus has one of the spongiest. The Blue Jackets enter the game allowing the fifth-highest goal total in the league at 3.23 a game.

2. More scoring shortfalls – The Kings were struggling to light the lamp even before leading goal scorer Mike Richards went down with an apparent concussion on Dec. 1. Since then, they’ve been really bad. In the five losses since the injury to Richards, the Kings have scored six goals. In another troubling trend, the Kings have not scored a first-period goal in the last five games. It probably shouldn’t come as surprise that the Kings are last in the league in first-period goals with 11. The next closest team has 16.

3. Misleading stat – A lot is often made of the connection between shot on goals and team success, but the Kings are actually better off this season the lower their SOG totals. When the Kings take 39 or more SOGs this season, they’re 0-3-1. But when taking 26 or less, their record is 5-2-2. Like a few players have noted this season, it’s not so much the SOGs that make a difference, but the prime scoring chances. The Kings took 41 SOGs in a 3-0 loss Tuesday in Boston, but their best scoring chance wasn’t even a SOG. Dustin Penner had a wide open net at the end of a two-on-none breakaway in the first period, but flicked the puck wide of the goal.

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Kings: Kopitar leads win at Columbus

March, 11, 2011
3/11/11
7:43
PM PT
Kings 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: Anze Kopitar recorded a natural hat trick, his second career three-goal game, lifting the Kings at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

THE STAT: Kopitar scored the first goal of the game during a power play at the 8:08 mark of the first period, taking a pass from Jack Johnson and tapping in the puck for a 1-0 lead. After the Blue Jackets tied the score, 1-1, Kopitar scored with just under five minutes remaining in the opening period on a deflection off Drew Doughty's slap shot. On his third goal, Kopitar had just exited the penalty box when he took a long pass from Dustin Brown and scored on a breakaway for a 3-1 lead with 8:47 left in the second period.




TURNING POINT: Kings goalkeeper Jonathan Bernier faced 15 shots in the first period and managed to keep the Kings from falling behind. Kopitar rewarded Bernier with his second goal, giving the Kings some breathing room heading into the second period.

HOT: Well, this one couldn’t be easier. With his three goals, Kopitar has eight points in the last four games, 15 in the last nine and 21 in the last 15. His other career hat track came Oct. 22, 2009 against Dallas. Not to be forgotten, Justin Williams had a goal and two assists, giving him seven points in the last four games.

NOT: The Kings have been unlucky when it comes to injuries caused by the puck. Jarret Stoll is the latest player to get hit in the face. He took one during the fist period but later returned. Willie Mitchell is still sporting a black eye and numerous stitches after getting struck by the puck last week against Phoenix.

GOOD MOVE: Kings coach Terry Murray seems to have created a healthy competition with his goalies. Jonathan Bernier stopped 32 shots to earn the victory, two days after Jonathan Quick was solid in a 2-1 victory in Detroit. The more Bernier plays, the better he seems to get.

BAD MOVE: The Kings did a great job killing a third-period power play after Stoll went off for interference on Antoine Vermette but then allowed a goal four seconds after they returned to even strength, cutting the deficit to 3-2 with 8 minutes remaining.

NOTABLE: Kings defenseman Drew Doughty had two assists to give him points in seven straight games against the Blue Jackets. Doughty has scored a total of 12 points in those seven games. Doughty was later checked into the upright glass support near the Columbus bench and appeared in pain as he headed to the locker room, but he quickly returned.

UP NEXT: Sunday at Dallas, noon PT

Kings: No time to rest in the West

March, 11, 2011
3/11/11
8:33
AM PT
Kings (37-25-5, 79 points) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (31-26-9, 71) at Nationwide Arena, 4 p.m. ET

Five storylines to track:




1. You snooze, you lose – Forget losing, teams can’t even step away from the Western Conference playoff race for a day without losing ground. The Kings won Wednesday in Detroit to move into seventh place, took a day to travel to Columbus and fell into eighth. The previous eighth-place team, the Phoenix Coyotes, won Thursday and jumped to fifth. Basically, the West just keeps getting tighter, with fourth through 11th place separated by four points.

2. Heads, it’s Bernier – You get the feeling Kings coach Terry Murray might just be flipping a coin when it comes to selecting his starting goalie. Just when it appeared Jonathan Quick had regained his confidence and full-time role in the 2-1 victory against the Red Wings, Murray announced he’s going back to Jonathan Bernier against the Blue Jackets. Bernier is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss against Dallas on Monday, but the Stars earned every point. One thing is for certain, coaches don't mind making these tough decisions.

3. Late-season slide? – The latest Kings forward to fall on hard times is veteran left wing Ryan Smyth, who has one goal in the last 17 games. That wouldn’t be such a concern if he didn’t have such a big drop off down the stretch last season. Smyth scored two goals in the last 20 regular-season games a year ago, and just one in the six-game playoff series against Vancouver. Smyth turned 35 last month and is the oldest member of the Kings.

4. Showing he belongs – Ever since Murray designated Alec Martinez as a healthy scratch Feb. 23 against Anaheim and Feb. 24 against Minnesota, the rookie defenseman has been playing at a higher level. He assisted on the winning goal against the Red Wings and is plus-3 in the six games since he returned to the lineup. Of course, Martinez didn’t waste any time making his presence known following his stay in the press box, scoring a goal in his first game back Feb. 26 in a 4-3 win against Colorado.

5. The monster Nash – Columbus forward Rick Nash hasn’t scored a goal in the last seven games. That’s not a good sign for the Kings. Nash has been a one-man demolition crew against Los Angeles in his career, owning 15 goals and 28 points in 29 career games. In his only appearance against the Kings this season, he had a goal and two assists in a 4-3 overtime loss Feb. 15 at Staples Center.

Kings: Stoll, Quick lead L.A. in the shootout

February, 16, 2011
2/16/11
8:29
PM PT
Kings 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (SO)

Eight keys to the game:

THE FACTS: After the Blue Jackets tied the score with 1 minute 23 seconds left in regulation at Nationwide Arena, Jarret Stoll scored in the second round of the shootout and goalie Jonathan Quick then stopped his third straight attempt by Columbus to push the Kings’ record to 8-0-2 in their last 10 games.




THE STAT: The Kings surrendered three one-goal leads during regulation, the first two within two minutes of taking the lead and the last on Kris Russell’s goal just as Columbus was pulling goalkeeper Mathieu Garon for the extra attacker.

TURNING POINT: With the score tied, 2-2, with under two minutes remaining in the second period, Drew Doughty and Trevor Lewis committed penalties just seven seconds apart, but the Kings killed the 5-on-3 that extended into the third period to prevent Columbus from taking its first lead.

HOT: Doughty scored from the blue line on a nice pass from Michal Handzus, giving the Kings a 3-2 lead six minutes into the third period. The goal was Doughty’s fifth in the last 10 games. Stoll is also 5-for-6 on shootout attempts this season.

NOT: The Kings made another move in the standings, despite another invisible game from Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown. The team captain and alternate captain were thoroughly outplayed by the Blue Jackets’ two best forwards, Rick Nash and Jakub Voracek, who combined for two goals and three assists.

GOOD MOVE: Quick made three outstanding saves in the shootout, but his best probably came early in the third period, when he made a diving stop on a point-blank shot by Columbus defenseman Anton Stralman.

BAD MOVE: Columbus first-line center Derick Brassard didn’t make it through his first shift before taking a shot off his left hand and leaving the game. His replacement up front, R.J. Umberger, also left in the first period with an injury but returned late in the second.

NOTABLE: With at least a point in 10 straight games, the Kings have strung together their longest point streak since 1980.

UP NEXT: Thursday at New York Rangers, 4 p.m. PT.

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