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game recap

Merzlikins makes 35 saves for Blue Jackets in win against Kings

Nyquist, Dubois each has two points for Columbus, which is 9-1-4 in past 14

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

Stenlund pads the lead

CBJ@LAK: Stenlund beats Quick from the high slot

Kevin Stenlund rips a wrist shot from the high slot that beats Jonathan Quick on his blocker side to extend the Blue Jackets' lead to 3-1

  • 00:33 •

LOS ANGELES -- The Columbus Blue Jackets extended their road point streak to eight games with a 4-2 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Monday.

Elvis Merzlikins made 35 saves for the Blue Jackets (20-15-8), who are 5-0-3 in their past eight on the road and 9-1-4 in their past 14 games.

"We're not, I don't think, overly concerned with keeping these streaks alive, but we're definitely concerned with playing the right way," said Blue Jackets defenseman Scott Harrington, who scored his first goal of the season. "Whenever you play the right way, that's whenever you string points consecutively together. I think it was a good win for us. We didn't necessarily get the start that we wanted, but we finished the right way, and that's a good learning lesson for us."

 

[WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Kings highlights]

 

Alex Iafallo scored for the third straight game and extended his point streak to seven games for the Kings (17-23-4), who have lost two games in a row and are 2-5-1 in their past eight. Jonathan Quick made 20 saves.

"We have to play an 'A' game to win right now," Los Angeles coach Todd McLellan said. "We have to play an 'A' game to score. We need tremendous goaltending. We need good penalty kill. We've got to prevent goals to have success. And that's OK. We know where we are. That's OK with us. But some nights we just don't get all of that at the same time, and it costs us."

Harrington put the Blue Jackets ahead 2-1 at 10:40 of the second period. Sonny Milano passed the puck from the far edge of the right face-off circle to Harrington in the left slot for a wrist shot into an open net.

Video: CBJ@LAK: Harrington finishes off the feed from Milano

Nathan Gerbe tied the game 1-1 for Columbus on a slap shot that Quick could not see through a screen by Pierre-Luc Dubois at 6:53 of the second.

"I was just trying to get it on net," Gerbe said. "I mean, Pierre-Luc goes to the net and creates a little bit of a distraction, and it goes in. Without him going to the net, that's probably not a goal."

Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said their improvement in the second period was the result of better effort.

"How many times did we get caught from behind in our end zone trying to get out in the first period?" Tortorella said. "Just lacked the energy. But we come back and play a really good second."

Kevin Stenlund extended the lead to 3-1 at 4:49 of the third period.

Los Angeles pulled within 3-2 at 11:15 when Trevor Lewis tipped Sean Walker's shot through traffic, but Gustav Nyquist scored into an empty net at 19:00 for the 4-2 final.

Video: CBJ@LAK: Lewis deflects home shot from Walker

McLellan said the Kings did not get enough shots on net in the way they did on Walker's fifth goal. He pointed to the Blue Jackets' 18 blocked shots as a sign something was not right offensively.

"I don't know if we were poor (in) shot selection or slow to shoot, or if they were that good positionally, but far too many that were knocked down before it even got to the net," McLellan said.

The Kings went up 1-0 1:26 into the game when Iafallo got to the edge of the crease and knocked in the rebound of Walker's shot.

Iafallo has four goals and four assists during his point streak, which is tied for the longest of his NHL career (Dec. 10-23, 2018) and is the longest by a Kings player this season.

 

They said it

"The thing I liked about our team is we get the lead 3-1, they score, and there was just no panic in our game. They just kept on playing. Ugly at times, but, yeah, we found a way." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

"If we can get up to (2-0) after one period, we probably feel a lot better and maybe they back off, but that wasn't the case. You look at the end of night, the first (period) goes to us, the second goes to them, the third is an even period, and we're short one (goal)." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan

 

Need to know

Columbus was not called for a penalty. ... Milano has one goal and two assists during a three-game point streak after missing eight games because of a concussion. ... Blue Jackets defenseman Markus Nutivaara was minus-1 in 16:17 in his return after missing 27 games because of an upper-body injury. ... Kings defenseman Derek Forbort had one hit and one blocked shot in 14:25 in his season debut after missing the first 43 games because of a back injury.

 

What's next

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

Kings: Host the Dallas Stars on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; NBCSN)

Video: Merzlikins, Blue Jackets defeat Kings

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