Blue Jackets-Kings Preview
GAME: Columbus Blue Jackets (11-23-4-3) at Los Angeles Kings (16-14-7-4).
TIME: Saturday, 10:30 p.m. EST.
It took former Columbus coach Doug MacLean 15 road games to lead the Blue
Jackets to their first victory away from home this season.
His replacement, Gerard Gallant, has doubled that road-win total in just one
week on the job.
Columbus looks to win for the third time in five games under Gallant when it
continues its seven-game road trip with a stop in Los Angeles to play the
Gallant took over the Blue Jackets on Jan. 1 when team president and general
manager MacLean gave up the coaching duties.
Gallant led Columbus to a rare road win in his coaching debut the next night
as the Blue Jackets opened their trip with a 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay
Columbus went on to lose the next two games of the trip, but on Thursday,
Rick Nash scored his league-leading 24th goal with 2.1 seconds left in overtime
as the Blue Jackets beat the Sharks 3-2 for their first win ever in San Jose.
The Blue Jackets were 1-11-1-2 away from home under MacLean, and didn't pick
up their first road win until Dec. 26.
"We beat a real good team on the road, that's the big thing," Gallant
said. "We've struggled, but I told them we're 2-2 on this seven-game road trip
now, so we've got to feel pretty good about that."
Columbus will try to make it two straight wins on the road for the first
time since last January when it faces a Los Angeles team it has beaten five
times in a row since a 5-1 home loss on Feb. 26, 2002.
The Kings lost 3-1 to the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday to extend their
winless streak to 10 games (0-3-6-1).
To make matters worse for Los Angeles, it learned that leading scorer Ziggy
Palffy will be out indefinitely because of a dislocated right shoulder that
might require season-ending surgery.
The injury occurred during Wednesday night's 4-4 tie at Anaheim, when Palffy
tried to go on a breakaway in overtime and got tangled up with Mighty Ducks
defenseman Todd Simpson.
"We're not going to have him and we've got to find a way to win -- and we
plan to do that," Kings coach Andy Murray said. "We've had our fair share of
injuries, but we'll plug somebody into the hole that was created by Ziggy
"Our lineup is a good enough lineup that we should be expecting to get the