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game recap

Iafallo scores twice in Kings win against Blue Jackets

Folin has three assists for Los Angeles, which pads lead for third in Pacific

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

LOS ANGELES -- Alex Iafallo scored two goals to help the Los Angeles Kings to their third straight win, 5-2 against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Staples Center on Thursday.

Nate Thompson, Tanner Pearson and Jeff Carter scored, and defenseman Christian Folin had three assists for the Kings (36-24-5), who increased their lead on the Anaheim Ducks for third place in the Pacific Division to three points and trail the San Jose Sharks for second by two.

 

[WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Kings highlights]

 

Los Angeles has 18 wins when allowing the first goal (18-21-3), the most in the NHL this season, including all three during its winning streak.

"We stuck with it," Iafallo said. "That's kind of what we do over the whole course of the year, is sticking with it in the second period, and then, obviously, third period, we've been great. Just got to clean up the first period and make sure we're focused every shift."

Jonathan Quick made 30 saves and is 15-3-0 in his past 18 starts against Columbus.

Cam Atkinson scored for the third straight game for the Blue Jackets (32-27-5), who lead the Carolina Hurricanes by two points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and trail the Pittsburgh Penguins by seven points for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Defenseman Seth Jones scored for Columbus, and Artemi Panarin had an assist to extend his point streak to six games (three goals, four assists). Joonas Korpisalo made 29 saves.

Video: CBJ@LAK: Folin, Iafallo connect for sweet goal in 2nd

Thomas Vanek had one shot on goal in 13:32 in his Blue Jackets debut after being acquired in a trade from the Vancouver Canucks on Monday.

Pearson ended a 15-game goal drought by tipping Drew Doughty's shot on the power play for a 3-2 lead at 16:33 of the second period. The Kings have scored at least one power-play goal in three straight games, going 4-for-12 with the man-advantage in that span.

"They score a big power-play goal to get their lead and we didn't," Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. "It's going to be a special teams battle down the stretch, we knew that. And we got to find a way to make sure our penalty kill is as good as our power play, and vice versa."

Carter scored shorthanded, his third goal in four games after missing 55 with a lacerated ankle tendon that required surgery, to make it 4-2 at 8:22 of the third period.

Iafallo got his first multigoal NHL game when he scored to put the Kings ahead 5-2 at 16:43.

The Kings fell behind by two in the first period but tied the game with goals 2:23 apart early in the second. Thompson made it 2-1 at 2:48 on a long shot from the right face-off circle. Thompson's first goal since being acquired in a trade from the Ottawa Senators on Feb. 9 came 22 seconds after the Kings killed a hooking penalty on Iafallo.

"Having a good penalty kill and gaining momentum on the power play helped us a lot, so we got to keep doing that," said Iafallo, who tied it 2-2 at 5:11 when he tipped Folin's pass.

The Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead 3:41 into the game when Atkinson scored. Panarin made a no-look backhand pass to Atkinson for a one-timer.

Jones put Columbus up 2-0 at 13:33.

"We lost our composure and didn't fully get it back consistently enough," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said.

Video: CBJ@LAK: Iafallo goes top shelf for his second goal

 

Goal of the game

Carter's goal at 8:22 of the third period.

Video: CBJ@LAK: Carter nets SHG on Folin's super dish in 3rd

 

Save of the game

Quick stopping Atkinson at 18:18 of the second period.

Video: CBJ@LAK: Quick stretches to stone Atkinson up close

 

Highlight of the game

Panarin's pass to set up Atkinson's goal at 3:41 of the first period.

Video: CBJ@LAK: Atkinson buries Panarin's creative dish

 

They said it

"Once they took over, I don't know what it was, but we weren't getting enough shots and it seemed like we were playing a little hesitant and more in the defensive end." -- Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson

 

"He's not a big guy, but he's got good intuition and put himself in some tough areas there and got rewarded for it." -- Kings coach John Stevens on Alex Iafallo, who scored two goals

 

Video: CBJ@LAK: Thompson beats Korpisalo with far-side snipe

 

Need to know

The Kings are 20-1-1 when leading entering the third period. … Atkinson is on a three-game point streak (three goals, two assists) and has five goals in his past nine games after he had eight in his first 39. … Kings defenseman Dion Phaneuf had an assist for a third consecutive game. He has six points (three goals, three assists) in nine games since being acquired in a trade from the Senators on Feb. 13. … The Kings have been outscored 13-5 in the first period over their past 12 games.

 
What's next

Blue Jackets: At the Anaheim Ducks on Friday (10 p.m. ET; SN360, FS-W, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Kings: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday (4 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-W, NBCSCH, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Iafallo, Folin power Kings to 5-2 win against Jackets

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