GAME DAY: at Los Angeles
Jackets to play Hollywood matinee in L.A. on Saturday
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Los Angeles Kings
WATCH: FOX Sports Ohio (HD) | LISTEN: CD 102.5 FM & BlueJackets.com
GAME DAY ON THE ROAD presented by:
|The last time the Blue Jackets met up with the Los Angeles Kings, they had just made a coaching change and interim coach John Stevens was in his second game as the bench boss. Columbus scored first in that game on a fluky goal credited to Jeff Carter, but the Kings rallied in the third period to claim a 2-1 victory in regulation.
Just a few days later, Kings GM Dean Lombardi made the official announcement and hired Darryl Sutter as the team’s next full-time coach. The hire was a hot topic in the hockey world, as many wondered if a man who has been out of coaching for several years was the right man to turn a stumbling Kings squad around. But if the first eight games with Sutter in charge are any indication of the future, Kings fans have a lot to look forward to.
Los Angeles has posted a record of 5-0-3 under the new head coach and they’ve been involved in several tight games. The Kings are 12-6-7 in one-goal games this season and are nearly flawless when they lead after two periods, holding a 12-0-2 record in those situations. They haven’t lost at home in five games (4-0-1 in that stretch) and are getting scoring from up and down their lineup. Dustin Brown has five goals in his last 11 games, and it’s no surprise that the Kings have picked up their game once Mike Richards returned to the lineup a few weeks ago.
Acquired by the Kings in an offseason trade, Richards has been one of the Kings’ most consistent scorers and is regarded as one of the best penalty killers in the NHL. Los Angeles is 18-8-7 with Richards in the lineup this season.
With a strong group of forwards and skill on defense, the Kings are even more dangerous because of their star goaltender, Jonathan Quick. He was tremendous at Nationwide Arena on Dec. 15, and is 6-0-2 in his last eight games with a 1.20 GAA. It is expected that Quick will be the Kings’ starting goaltender this afternoon against the Blue Jackets.