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After a frustrating night in a building where they have never won a game in regulation, the Columbus Blue Jackets now can turn their attention to playing in an arena where they enjoyed nothing but success last season.
The Blue Jackets look to put the memory of a tough loss to the league's best team behind them when they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
Columbus (11-11-3) opened a three-game road trip with a 3-2 loss to San Jose on Thursday. The Blue Jackets held a 31-22 edge in shots and took a first-period lead on Rick Nash's goal, but fell to 0-2 against the NHL-leading Sharks this season and 1-13-2 all-time in San Jose.
"Our guys played a real good 60 minutes, and we deserved a better fate," said goalie Steve Mason, who made 19 saves. "We kept the pressure on them the entire time. The first time we came here (on Oct. 14), we put the pressure on them, and that was our goal coming in. Our guys deserved the win."
The Blue Jackets have been very competitive in their last two road games - both against top contenders - but have nothing to show for their efforts. They fell 5-3 in Detroit on Nov. 28, when they yielded the go-ahead goal with two minutes left in the third period.
Columbus won't be facing as strong an opponent Saturday, as it looks to duplicate its strong play at Staples Center last season. The Blue Jackets won twice in Los Angeles to snap a five-game losing streak there and went 3-0-1 overall in 2007-08 against the Kings (10-11-4).
The Blue Jackets, though, continue to struggle on the power play. Their 9.9 percent conversion rate with the man advantage is the worst in the NHL.
Los Angeles lost its third straight on Friday, 5-4 in a shootout to Edmonton. The Kings, who led 4-3 after two periods, have taken a lead into the third period in their last three games, only to come up with just one point out of a possible six.
They have been outscored 7-0 in their last three third periods.
Jason LaBarbera took the loss Friday, entering after Erik Ersberg allowed three goals in the first period. It is unclear who will start Saturday for the Kings, who are 1-4 in the second half of back-to-back games.
"First period, the goaltender was changed because the goaltender wasn't good enough," Los Angeles coach Terry Murray said. "Ersberg wasn't good enough."
Alexander Frolov and Michal Handzus each had a goal and an assist during the Kings' four-goal second period Friday. Frolov, who had been benched in the third period of Tuesday's 4-2 loss at Phoenix for a mistake that led to a Coyotes rally, did not register a point in last season's four games against Columbus.