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Kings at Blue Jackets preview

Los Angeles, Columbus each seek third consecutive victory, sixth straight without regulation loss

by Craig Merz / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

KINGS (15-18-3) at BLUE JACKETS (14-14-6)

7 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-W, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets each seek to extend a five-game point streak when they meet at Nationwide Arena on Thursday.

The Kings have won two straight and are 4-0-1 in their past five games after going 2-6-1 in their previous nine. Los Angeles is also riding a season-long four-game road point streak (3-0-1).

The Blue Jackets also have won consecutive games and are 3-0-2 in their past five following a four-game losing streak.

 

Players to watch

Kings center Anze Kopitar has 34 points (17 goals, 17 assists) in 37 games against Columbus and is one goal from tying Bernie Nicholls (327) for fourth place on Los Angeles' all-time list.

Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson has scored five of his nine goals this season in his past seven games.

 

They said it

"I would like to think this Columbus team will motivate us because they are a pretty straightforward, meats and potatoes, hard-working hockey club. If we're not aware or prepared for that they'll surprise us pretty quickly." -- Kings coach Todd McLellan

"We've got a lot of guys contributing now. You're going to need guys to continue. It's goals by committee, really. That's how we're eventually going to win all these games." -- Blue Jackets forward Cam Atkinson

 

Kings projected lineup

Alex Iafallo -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford -- Jeff Carter -- Trevor Lewis

Tyler Toffoli -- Michael Amadio -- Nikolai Prokhorkin

Adrian Kempe -- Blake Lizotte -- Austin Wagner

Joakim Ryan -- Drew Doughty

Ben Hutton -- Matt Roy

Kurtis MacDermid -- Sean Walker

Jack Campbell

Jonathan Quick

Scratched: Matt Luff, Kale Clague

Injured: Derek Forbort (upper body), Alec Martinez (lower body)

 

Blue Jackets projected lineup

Alexandre Texier -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Eric Robinson

Gustav Nyquist -- Boone Jenner -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Nick Foligno -- Alexander Wennberg -- Cam Atkinson

Marko Dano -- Riley Nash -- Kevin Stenlund

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Vladislav Gavrikov -- David Savard

Dean Kukan -- Scott Harrington

Joonas Korpisalo

Elvis Merzlikins

Scratched: None

Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Emil Bemstrom (rib), Markus Nutivaara (upper body), Ryan Murray (lower body), Sonny Milano (upper body), Josh Anderson (shoulder), Andrew Peeke (hand)

 

Status report

Brown did not participate in the morning skate because of an illness; McLellan said he'll be a game-time decision. … Harrington replaces Peeke, who was injured in a 5-3 win at the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday.

 

Stat pack

Toffoli has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak. … Carter has four points (two goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak and 20 points (13 goals, seven assists) in 19 games against the Blue Jackets. … Texier has four points (two goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak. … Korpisalo is 3-0-2 with a 1.69 goals-against average and .943 save percentage in his past five games.

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