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Losing prized rookie Derick Brassard for the season certainly won't help the Columbus Blue Jackets end their offensive woes. At home against Los Angeles, though, they may not need much scoring.
The Blue Jackets, without one of their top scorers, look to saddle the Kings with their fifth straight road defeat when the teams continue their season series Tuesday night.
Brassard suffered a dislocated shoulder at Dallas on Thursday night and the injury will require season-ending surgery, which he will undergo in early January.
The 21-year-old center is tied with Chicago's Kris Versteeg for the NHL rookie lead in points with 25 (10 goals, 15 assists). Brassard, the sixth pick in the 2006 draft, was the NHL's rookie of the month in October and collected points in 20 of his 31 games.
Columbus (14-15-4) is in no shape to withstand Brassard's loss. The Blue Jackets have scored two goals or fewer in 10 of their last 16 games, going 6-8-2.
"We're professionals and have to do better for 60 minutes," Blue Jackets defenseman Kris Russell said. "We have to outwork goalies. We all have to be accountable."
Brassard is tied for the team lead with three power-play goals and Columbus has a league-low 15 this season, going 4-for-57 with the man advantage over the last 14 games.
Columbus lost 2-0 to Phoenix on Saturday night. The only other time the Blue Jackets have been shut out this season was against Los Angeles (13-14-6) on Dec. 6, losing 3-0.
But Columbus has earned at least one point in five straight home games versus the Kings, going 4-0-1, and Los Angeles has been terrible away from Staples Center this season. The Kings are 3-8-0 on the road, averaging 2.09 goals per game.
Los Angeles has lost four straight road games since Nov. 26, when it beat Edmonton 2-1.
"It's a matter of us just bearing down and learning how to win games, and that's something we need to learn pretty quickly," Kings winger Dustin Brown said.
Los Angeles has been outscored 17-5 in its last three road games. The majority of the Kings' goals during that span came in their last contest, losing 6-4 to Detroit on Tuesday night after allowing three goals in the final four minutes.
Los Angeles got a rare productive day on offense, with Brown and Kyle Calder each tallying a goal and an assist. Trevor Lewis and Alexander Frolov also found the back of the net for the Kings.
Patrick O'Sullivan, though, had a six-game point streak end. He had one goal and six assists during his run, giving him 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) on the season.
Los Angeles' Jason LaBarbera made 23 saves in the first meeting with Columbus for one of his two shutouts this season. LaBarbera, though, has given up 14 goals in his last four games, so Kings coach Terry Murray gave rookie Jonathan Quick his first start of the season Tuesday.
Quick made 30 saves, and may get more work with Erik Ersberg out for at least another week. Ersberg, who is 8-5-2 with a 2.38 goals-against average, has missed three straight games due to a sore groin.
Murray hasn't said who will start Tuesday.
"I'll wait ... to make a firm decision on it," Murray said.