POST GAME: Kings 2, Blue Jackets 1

Kyle Clifford's quick answer in the second period is the difference for Los Angeles

Friday, 04.19.2013 / 1:00 AM / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com



KINGS (25-14-5) 2, BLUE JACKETS (21-17-7) 1

STAPLES CENTER | LOS ANGELES, CA




Based on the rugged tenor and relentless intensity of tonight's game, it was painstakingly clear how much was at stake for both the Blue Jackets and Kings. Separated by just four points in the standings heading into the game, this was a massive swing game: the Blue Jackets could have closed within two points of the Kings, and on the other hand, Los Angeles had an opportunity to pull back ahead of San Jose for home ice advantage in the West.

And right from the opening face-off, this game was played at a frenetic pace with not much room to operate. It was a textbook playoff game with a few chances on other side, quality goaltending and timely goal-scoring. The difference was a Kyle Clifford tally less than a minute after the Blue Jackets tied the game, giving the Kings a 2-1 win in front of a sold-out crowd at STAPLES Center.

Columbus once again ends the night in sole possession of eighth place in the Western Conference, two points ahead of Detroit and Dallas - each with 47 points and a game in hand on the Jackets. Their record stands at 3-1-0 through four of six games on this road trip and they head north to San Jose with another chance to make up ground on the teams above them on Sunday evening.

After tonight's game, they'll welcome a couple of days off to get back to 100 percent. The energy was mostly adrenaline tonight, as the Jackets played their fifth game in seven nights and worked feverishly to create chances against a stingy Los Angeles defense. Dalton Prout's first NHL goal - a snappy wrist shot through traffic - tied the game in the second period, but Clifford answered quickly with the game-deciding goal.

The Blue Jackets had some good looks in the third period and put a number of quality shifts together in the final 10 minutes in search of the tying goal, but Jonathan Quick held them at bay just long enough.




It's hard to look anywhere else than the two teams trading crucial goals in the second period, the latter being Clifford's go-ahead tally. His goal marked a wild few minutes with dramatic swings in momentum that settled the score in the hockey game.




- The Jackets played most of the game with a five defenseman rotation, with heavy minutes going to their top-four blue liners. It was a heavy, heavy game (especially in the third period) and there weren't many shifts for the recently-recalled Savard.

- Bad news on the injury front: Calvert suffered a broken finger in the second period and will be out "a while," according to coach Todd Richards. Tough break for a kid who has been such a big part of the Blue Jackets' playoff run.

- Artem Anisimov and Adrian Aucoin both skated today in Los Angeles, Richards said, and they will be re-evaluated this weekend. There's a chance or both players could return to the Blue Jackets' lineup on Sunday in San Jose.













at San Jose Sharks
Sunday, 8 p.m.
HP Pavilion at San Jose | San Jose, Calif.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
R. Johansen 82 33 30 3 63
J. Wisniewski 75 7 44 0 51
B. Dubinsky 76 16 34 5 50
C. Atkinson 79 21 19 -4 40
A. Anisimov 81 22 17 -2 39
N. Foligno 70 18 21 5 39
R. Umberger 74 18 16 -3 34
M. Letestu 82 12 22 1 34
J. Johnson 82 5 28 -7 33
B. Jenner 72 16 13 6 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Bobrovsky 32 20 5 .923 2.38
C. McElhinney 10 11 1 .909 2.70
 
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