POST GAME INTERVIEWS
Tim Erixon --> WATCH HERE
Ryan Murray --> WATCH HERE
Todd Richards --> WATCH HERE
IN GAME UPDATES
Nick Foligno has left the game due to injury in the third period following an upper-body collision along the boards. Foligno reportedly remains in the medical room at Staples Center and is alert and speaking with the medical staff.
SECOND PERIOD RECAP: A late-period goal by Mark Letestu has made this a one-goal game with 20 minutes to play, and it was a huge tally for the Blue Jackets, who saw the Kings score three unanswered prior to it. Jeff Carter, Tyler Toffoli and Dwight King each scored in the second period to erase the Jackets' slim 1-0 advantage and the Kings played much better in t
he middle frame after a slow start to the game. The Blue Jackets didn't play their best in the second period and were sloppy at times, but this is a one-shot contest and they're very much a part of it as we head down the stretch. Sergei Bobrovsky has been solid between the pipes for Columbus while Jonathan Quick made three unbelievable stops in the second period to keep the Kings in front.
Mark Letestu answers right back after a Kings' goal to make it 3-2 --> WATCH HERE | LISTEN HERE
BLUE JACKETS 2| KINGS 5
FIRST PERIOD RECAP: The Blue Jackets are without two more forwards today (Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson are out with injuries) but that hasn't stopped them from establishing the pace of the game early on at STAPLES Center. All four lines have done a solid job of being responsible at both ends and not getting beat up the ice, and it's kept the game fairly even after 20 minutes. The Blue Jackets have the only goal so far and it was Tim Erixon's first NHL goal in his 59th game, jumping in from his left point position to deposit a rebound past Jonathan Quick. It's been a physical game as you'd expect, with both sides expressing displeasure - and to no one's surprise, Scott Hartnell has been right in the thick of it.
Tim Erixon's first career NHL goal gives the Jackets a 1-0 lead --> WATCH HERE | LISTEN HERE
UPDATE (4:00 PM ET): Matt Calvert took part in pregame warm-ups, but will not play this afternoon. The Blue Jackets will dress seven defensemen. Calvert is scratched along with Cam Atkinson and Cody Goloubef.
UPDATE (2:10 PM ET): Ryan Murray has been activated off injured reserve and will make his season debut today in Los Angeles. He's expected to pair with James Wisniewski. Dalton Prout will return after being a healthy scratch the last two games and take the place of Cody Goloubef.
UPDATE (2:04 PM ET): Cam Atkinson will not play this afternoon, per Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards. Atkinson suffered facial injuries from a skate blade in Anaheim and is day-to-day. Corey Tropp and Marko Dano will be in the lineup for the Blue Jackets.
UPDATE (1:40 PM ET): After activating goaltender Curtis McElhinney from IR this morning and returning Anton Forsberg to AHL Springfield, the Blue Jackets have also activated defenseman Ryan Murray and he is expected to make his season debut this afternoon.
The Blue Jackets have assigned forward Alexander Wennberg to AHL Springfield. Pairings and adjustments to forward lines will be determined before the game.
The Blue Jackets will make the short trip to Los Angeles after a rough loss in Anaheim, and hope to get back to their winning ways against another western power in the Kings.
The Jackets have made a habit of slow starts during the first three games of this road trip, falling behind by two goals in all three contests. They were able to scrape their way back into the game in Ottawa and squeeze out a win in San Jose, but they struggled to ever generate consistent pressure against the Ducks in a 4-1 loss at Honda Center.
Ryan Johansen extended his season-long points streak with an assist on the Jackets’ lone goal, a power play goal and Scott Hartnell’s first as a Blue Jacket. Aside from that goal that pinballed past Ducks goaltender John Gibson, the Jackets only generated 17 shots and only five in the third period.
The Jackets’ penalty kill has been a strength early in the season but was beaten twice in the first period on Friday, surrendering goals to league-leading scorer Corey Perry and defenseman Sami Vatanen. The same first period penalty trouble will cost Columbus against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
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The Kings are rolling just as strong as the Ducks, winners of five in a row, including impressive low-scoring battles against the Wild and Blues, and they sport one of the league’s best forward lines.
“That 70’s Line,” made up of former Blue Jacket Jeff Carter and sophomores Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli is one of the hottest lines in the NHL right now. Toffoli has goals in three of his last five games, while Pearson has four goals over that stretch. All three players are scoring at a point per game clip.
The Kings are still without sniper Marian Gaborik and center Trevor Lewis, and are still waiting for others in their lineup to hit stride. Outside of the groovy trio, only three other Kings have found the back of the net this season. Anze Kopitar has two goals this season, while Justin Williams and Dustin Brown have one goal each.
Los Angeles is top-heavy scoring, but deep in talent with players whom history tells us will break out soon. Still, it gives Todd Richards some direction in deciding match-ups on which to focus.
The Jackets will need their own scoring depth against Jonathan Quick, who has been spectacular. Quick is 4-1-1 with a .958 save percentage and a 1.54 goals-against average.
These were the lines and pairings used by the Blue Jackets in Anaheim and are subject to change...
*Cam Atkinson suffered cuts to his face from a skate blade during Friday's loss, but there was no serious damage reported. Adam Cracknell left the game after sustaining a lower-body injury in the third period, but did return. Each player's status for Sunday has not been updated.