BLUE JACKETS 5 | KINGS 3
The Blue Jackets
established a new franchise record tonight with their seventh consecutive victory, which is all well and good on the surface - but the guys inside the locker room are anything but satisfied.
FINAL: BLUE JACKETS 5 | KINGS 3
Is this streak - which has now reached its third week - fun and exciting? Absolutely, and no one is denying that. But as they stand after a 5-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings, the Blue Jackets have yet to accomplish anything and their sole focus is the next opponent on the schedule.
That's how they treated tonight's game, and despite a slow start, they found their game late in the first period and got on a roll.
Los Angeles scored first, a broken play in front with Dwight King cleaning up the rebound from a Trevor Lewis bad-angle shot. But the Blue Jackets shook off a shaky 10 minutes and got their legs going late in the period; RJ Umberger converted a power play goal (his first of two goals tonight) at 12:47 to keep the Jackets' red-hot power play on a roll, and in the final minute of the first, it was Ryan Johansen tallying his 19th to give Columbus a 2-1 edge.
Jeff Carter tied the game on a 3-on-1 in the second period (goal coming at the 8:39 mark), but once again, the Blue Jackets had an answer.
Rather than let the game tilt the other direction, Columbus got the next goal and captured the momentum once more. Umberger scored his second of the night with 1:45 left in the second - a casual toss from the left wing boards that Kings coach Darryl Sutter did not like - and the second-period cap was a beautiful alliance between Artem Anisimov and Nathan Horton.
Anisimov settled a bouncing back on the left wing and turned into a 2-on-1 with Horton, feathering a perfect pass cross-ice to big No. 8 who roofed it over the Kings goaltender at 19:44 of the middle frame.
The Kings would close to 5-3 after Anisimov notched his 13th of the season with under five minutes to play, and that's as close as they would get from there to the house. The Blue Jackets brought the Nationwide Arena crowd to its feet in the final moments as they celebrated their 25th victory of the season.
They didn't let a second-period push by the Kings change the game, and credit goes to the Blue Jackets for two tide-turning goals in the second period. Umberger got it started with his second of the night and then Horton finished the gorgeous dish from Anisimov, and that was pretty much all she wrote for Los Angeles.
1. RJ UMBERGER (CBJ)
Not only does Umberger lead the Jackets with six power play goals, he's really simplified his game and been a key part of arguably Columbus' best line with Foligno and Johansen. Two goals tonight for Umberger gives him 13 on the year.
2. ARTEM ANISIMOV (CBJ)
There's been a quantum leap in Anisimov's game since he was paired with Boone Jenner and Horton a couple of weeks ago. He's up to 13 goals on the season and tonight might have been one of his best efforts to date.
3. JAMES WISNIEWSKI (CBJ)
The Blue Jackets' power play (over 30% success rate in 2014) owes a lot to Wisniewski, who is getting shots through and making plays from the point. He picked up two assists tonight to boost his total to 30 points on the year, 11th-most among defensemen in the NHL.
VS. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
THURSDAY, 7 P.M.