Columbus Falls at L.A., 3-2; Will Face Anaheim on Sunday
The Kings' tied a season best with their fourth straight victory after losing the previous seven games. All four of the wins have been decided by one-goal margins. They survived a Columbus power play during the final 1:20, after Avery was sent off for high-sticking Duvie Westcott.
Down 2-0, the Blue Jackets rallied with Nokolai Zherdev's 20th and 21st goals. The first one came at 2:11 of the third, a backhander off a rebound of Manny Manhotra's shot. The second one, with 15:25 left in regulation, came after Jan Hrdina's 30-foot shot struck Mathieu Garon in the mask and the Kings' defense failed to clear the bouncing puck.
But Cammalleri regained the lead for the Kings while Columbus captain Adam Foote was serving an interference penalty. He beat Marc Denis high to the glove side with a 25-foot wrist shot from the right circle, after Denis lost his mask in a goalmouth collision and stopped a shot by Joe Corvo.
The Kings, who came in with the league's second-worst penalty-killing percentage, opened the scoring at 13:11 of the second period with their 13th short-handed goal and third against the Blue Jackets. Foote lost control of the puck to Avery just inside the Kings' blue line and got tangled up with him, leading to a 2-on-1 rush that Avery finished with a 20-foot slap shot that beat Denis to the stick side.
Avery, whose 625 penalty minutes over the last three seasons are the most of any NHL player, made it 2-0 with his 12th goal of the campaign. It came on a one-timer from 15 feet away, just 15 seconds after teammate Luc Robitaille hit the crossbar on a breakaway.
Pavol Demitra and Alexander Frolov, two-thirds of the Kings' No. 1 line, both missed their second straight game because of injuries they sustained in the Olympics. Both were instrumental in an 8-2 rout at Columbus on Nov. 13, with Frolov getting his first career hat stick and Demitra recording four assists.