FINAL: JACKETS 1 | KINGS 2 (OT)
SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: As you'd expect, the Kings came back with a stronger second period and drew the Blue Jackets into a string of minor penalties. The Columbus penalty killers have been working overtime in this game, but have done a nice job keeping the Kings to the outside and disrupting them high in the zone. The Blue Jackets had a couple of glorious shorthanded chances in the second period but were unable to convert, and in general, it was a much faster pace in the middle frame. The Blue Jackets have possessed the puck well and created their share of opportunities, but Quick has been solid for the Kings. Shots are 20-13 favoring the Blue Jackets.
FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: The Blue Jackets did what they wanted to do in the opening period, getting their forecheck going early on and putting pucks in behind the Kings' defensemen. The result was a lot of puck possession, a handful of scoring chances and a power play goal from Jack Johnson in the first 90 seconds - and that's where things stand after one period at STAPLES Center. The Kings put forth a bit of a push in the second half of the period but the Blue Jackets have done a nice job defensively to move the puck quickly out of danger. Shots in the first period were 10-2 favoring the Blue Jackets.
WATCH: Jack Johnson's 1st period PP goal
GAME AUDIO: Jack Johnson's 1st period PP goal puts us up 1-0! | LISTEN
WATCH: Matt Calvert talks with Bob McElligott about tonight's game in LA.
WATCH: Derek MacKenzie shares his thoughts on facing the Kings.
WATCH: Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards meets with the media prior to tonight's game at STAPLES Center.
UPDATE (2:35 PM): The Blue Jackets are on the ice for their morning skate at STAPLES Center, and much like the Kings, don't expect any lineup changes for tonight's game. Sergei Bobrovsky starts in net for Columbus.
UPDATE (2:15 PM): The Kings will start Jonathan Quick in net tonight against the Blue Jackets. In the previous meeting between the two teams, Martin Jones got the start for Los Angeles. No other lineup changes are expected for the Kings.
MORNING SKATE: The Blue Jackets play the second game of this three-game road trip tonight in Los Angeles, taking on the Kings in a 10:30 p.m. start at the STAPLES Center. The Jackets are slated for a 2:30 p.m. (ET) morning skate, and we'll have game day coverage for you right here at Game Day Central. Also, look for lineup changes, thoughts on the match-up against the Kings, storylines from the other side and an interview with coach Todd Richards. Stay tuned to this page for the latest!
The Blue Jackets had three players - Ryan Johansen, James Wisniewski and Fedor Tyutin - miss practice on Wednesday but all three are expected to play Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings. Todd Richards said he does not anticipate any lineup changes, which means the same forward lines and defense pairs used Monday night in Anaheim.
As you would expect, Sergei Bobrovsky gets the call in goal for the Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets started their three-game California road trip about as good as they could have hoped: with an emphatic 4-2 victory over the league-leading Anaheim Ducks on Monday night. Columbus got a strong performance from Sergei Bobrovsky, a couple of power play goals, and a solid third period effort from all four lines to lock up two points.
They'll face another test tonight in the Kings
, who are sputtering during a 1-8-1 run that's seen their offensve dry up and cause them to lose games they're accustomed to winning.
Los Angeles has one game left before the Olympic break, and that's against the Blue Jackets - rest assured they'll bring their best effort in order to go into the break on a much better note.
But the Blue Jackets can't worry about that; their focus has to remain on taking care of their own business and continue on this strong run of play. Their team game has increasingly improved and Richards is quick to point out that even when they endured a three-game skid last week, the Blue Jackets were still playing well but weren't getting some of the breaks they got during an eight-game win streak.
Columbus won the only previous meeting of the season against the Kings, a 5-3 victory back on Jan. 21 at Nationwide Arena
AT SAN JOSE SHARKS
FRIDAY, 10:30 P.M.