GAME BLOG: Blue Jackets at Kings
12:05 A.M. -- SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: More of the same from the first period, as both sides are playing it pretty close to the vest tonight in Los Angeles. Minimal shots, limited opportunities, but one mistake ended up in the back of the Blue Jackets' net. Nikita Nikitin tried to keep the puck inside the zone but turned it over right to Kyle Clifford, who beat Nikitin to the outside and started a 2-on-1 break in the closing minutes of the second period. Clifford ripped a wrister by Bobrovsky's glove for the only goal of the hockey game, but there are still 20 important minutes to be played. Columbus' power play has struggled tonight and the Kings have put a ton of pressure on the point men, leaving little room to move the puck around...and as a result, the power play hasn't generated many chances. With one period to go, look for the Blue Jackets to keep getting pucks deep in the Kings end and going to work on the forecheck -- it's the bread and butter of their offense.
11:10 P.M. -- FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: *Dusts off the blog* Well, that was kind of a "meh" period for both teams. If one thing's clear, it'll be a spirited game tonight at STAPLES Center, much like we predicted this afternoon. Lots of nasty going on out there tonight and it's clear the Kings don't really like the Blue Jackets and vice versa...but hey, that's hockey. If you're the road team, you don't mind that period because the Kings never really got their crowd going. Shots are 9-4 in favor of Los Angeles after 20 minutes but there are matching zeroes on the scoreboard. The Kings had a pair of power plays in the first, but the Blue Jackets' solid penalty kill did the job twice more. Sergei Bobrovsky got himself into the game early with a nice left-arm save on Anze Kopitar, but aside from a flurry or two, it was a mellow first period.
5:30 P.M. -- This bit just came across the CBJ Today news desk. Enjoy your weekend.
5:15 P.M. -- Plenty of updates today from Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards. Watch his comments to the media after practice on Jackets TV:
5:00 P.M. -- Blue Jackets center Mark Letestu, who leads the team with five goals on the season, caught up with Jackets TV after the morning skate to chat about tonight's game:
4:15 P.M. -- Sergei Bobrovsky is the Blue Jackets' starting goaltender tonight.
4:00 P.M. -- Here is the projected lineup for the Blue Jackets tonight against Los Angeles:
Calvert - Dubinsky - Foligno
Prospal - Anisimov - Letestu
Umberger - Brassard - Dorsett
Gillies - MacKenzie - Boll
Tyutin - Nikitin
Johnson - Aucoin
Erixon - Goloubef
3:30 P.M. -- Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson took a few minutes after practice to talk about tonight's game. Catch the full conversation with our Bob McElligott on Jackets TV:
3:15 P.M. -- Word from the Kings' side is Jonathan Bernier gets the start tonight for the Kings. He was in net for their Monday night win over St. Louis and has played well. He lost his most recent appearance against the Blue Jackets, a 3-1 win for the good guys last March at Nationwide Arena.
3:00 P.M. -- Everyone ready for game day, late-night style? The Blue Jackets are in Los Angeles to take on the Kings tonight at STAPLES Center, and it should be a dandy. I'm a big fan of this budding rivalry and it starts with these two clubs simply not liking each other a whole lot. Last week's game at Nationwide Arena was a bit snarly and had a good edge to it, and I expect more of the same tonight in SoCal.
There's plenty to get caught up on this afternoon, and the team has just wrapped up its morning skate. Stay tuned to the blog for all the latest news, interviews and updates throughout the afternoon and evening.