LOS ANGELES -
Chippy it was Thursday night at STAPLES Center in a game that featured 52 hits and 52 penalty minutes, but the Kings were on the short-end of the scoreboard, falling 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets, who are determined to rebound from a historically bad 0-7-1 start to their season, now have won the first two games of their three-game California road swing, and they didn’t make things easy for the Kings Thursday night.
Columbus struck for the first goal of the evening 17 seconds into their first power play, Cam Atkinson tipping home a shot past Jonathan Quick to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead six minutes into the contest.
Alec Martinez answered minutes later, rocketing home a shot off the cross-bar and past Sergei Bobrovsky via a cross-ice feed from Dustin Brown 15 seconds into the Kings’ second power play of the night.
The Blue Jackets regained the lead with under two minutes to play in the first, capitalizing on a hard forecheck when Nick Foligno fired a shot that ricochet off of Brandon Dubinsky’s shin-pad and past Quick.
Neither team scored in the second period; the Kings didn’t allow the Blue Jackets a single shot on net, it was just the second time in club history that they’ve held an opponent to zero shots during an entire period – the other instance came on came on April 5, 1978 against the St. Louis Blues.
The Kings couldn’t keep Columbus at bay in the third, Gregory Campbell wristing home the Blue Jackets’ third goal of the evening with just over nine minutes to play in regulation.
Jeff Carter inched the Kings back late, scoring with 59.3 seconds left on the clock to pull the Kings to within one, but that’s as close as they would get.
Five different players led the team in points scored (1), Drew Doughty and Jeff Carter in shots taken (5), Jake Muzzin in hits delivered (4), Drew Doughty in shots blocked (4), and Drew Doughty in minutes played (26:14). Jonathan Quick made 22 saves in the loss.
The Kings will continue their five-game home stand Saturday afternoon when they host the Florida Panthers at STAPLES Center, the puck is slated to drop just after 1:00PM PST.