POST GAME: Kings 4, Blue Jackets 2
Los Angeles roars back after slow first period to top Columbus at Nationwide Arena
KINGS (3-3-2) 4, BLUE JACKETS (3-6-1) 2
NATIONWIDE ARENA | COLUMBUS, OH
This game was essentially the exact opposite of the Blue Jackets' win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
Despite a slow start over the weekend, Columbus put together a strong final 40 minutes and wore down the Red Wings, but tonight it was a much different story. The Los Angeles Kings were a rested, angry bunch after giving up seven goals to the Anaheim Ducks, and they shook off a ragged opening frame to beat the Blue Jackets 4-2 at Nationwide Arena tonight.
Derek MacKenzie opened the scoring on a nice play that started all the way back in the Columbus end, as Mark Letestu got control of the puck and got it ahead to Fedor Tyutin joining the rush. Tyutin slid a perfect centering feed to MacKenzie driving hard to the net, and the redirect made it a 1-0 game at 13:02.
But the Kings, struggling a bit in the early parts of the season, didn't flinch.
Anze Kopitar scooped up a loose puck in the Blue Jackets end and backhanded it behind Mason just 32 seconds into the second period, setting the stage for what would be a massive middle stanza for the visitors. Jeff Carter scored less than three minutes later to give Los Angeles its first lead, which lasted all of 71 seconds.
Derick Brassard scored a backhander of his own, thanks to a heads-up slap pass by Tim Erixon from the left point. Brassard cradled the puck, spun toward the net and whipped it past Jonathan Quick to tie the game at 5:36. Momentum had started to swing back into the Blue Jackets' favor, but the Kings got a big goal (the eventual game winner) from Slava Voynov on a slap shot with 9:36 to go in the second. Los Angeles out-shot the Blue Jackets by a 17-2 margin in the second period and held them to a single shot on goal over a period of about 20 minutes.
The Blue Jackets, down a forward after Brandon Dubinsky was ejected at 11:29 of the second for a hit on Rob Scuderi, had their chances in the third period but couldn't dent Quick for a third time. Mike Richards scored on a rebound from a Justin Williams shot to make it a 4-2 final.
Columbus was in good stead midway through the second period and had some jump after the Brassard goal, but Voynov's go-ahead tally was a tough one to swallow. David Savard and Nick Holden got caught out on a long shift and the Kings took advantage; Voynov pinched down the right wall and ripped a slapper past a screened Steve Mason to regain the lead.
- Jack Johnson didn't quite catch his TOI total from Saturday, clocking in at 34:13 tonight against the Kings. He was a horse in all situations, leading a very young Columbus defense corps that featured three in-season call ups.
- Cody Goloubef played well in his season debut and saw some time at the end with Mason pulled for an extra attacker. He logged 15:37 on the night after being recalled from Springfield yesterday, and was a +1 in the game.
- Derek Dorsett led all Blue Jackets with four shots on goal, played almost 18 minutes and was his usual tenacious self on the forecheck all night long. He nearly had a big goal for Columbus, but was robbed by Quick on a third-period rush that was set-up and started by Artem Anisimov.
vs. Calgary Flames
Thursday, 7 p.m.
TV: FOX Sports Ohio (HD)
Radio: CD 102.5 FM & BlueJackets.com