The Columbus Blue Jackets continued their west coast swing with a tilt against the L.A. Kings at the Staples Center. After the gameday skate, word came that there would be several lineup changes as Dalton Prout drew in for Cody Goloubef and Alexander Wennberg returned from his injury as David Clarkson has gone to IR with a back injury.
A couple nights previous in San Jose the Jackets won despite being mostly outplayed over the final 40 minutes. It was a similar story in Los Angeles, as Columbus jumped out to an early lead after the first period followed by not registering a single shot on net in the second. They pushed back in the third period and hung on in the final minutes as the Kings tried to find the equalizing goal. The teams combined for 52 penalty minutes as the first 40 minutes were filled with scrums and a couple fights.
The Kings had an early power play to start the game as David Savard went to the box for cross checking just 27 seconds into the game. In a sign of things to come, Sergei Bobrovsky started strong in net. After carrying possession the first few minutes, the Kings returned the man advantage favor as Christian Ehrhoff went off for tripping.
On the ensuing faceoff to start the power play, the Jackets had the Kings hemmed in their own zone. After a good cycle of forechecking to maintain possession, Kevin Connauton flipped a backhand pass from the point to Brandon Dubinsky at the half wall. Dubinsky then fired a shot-pass on the ice and Cam Atkinson redirected the puck past Jonathan Quick for the 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, Nick Foligno was apparently not happy with the team's play, his own play, or perhaps both. It was a four punch KO of Kyle Clifford.
The fight did not immediately help the CBJ, though. A minute later David Savard went to the box after a hooking call. On the following faceoff to start the power play, the Kings made a couple cross ice passes. Dustin Brown sent a tape to tape pass from the top of the left faceoff circle to Alex Martinez on the opposite side of the zone. Martinez then stepped into a big slap shot which beat Bobrovsky to the stick side. The game was knotted at one apiece.
The chippy play continued a couple minutes later when Quick routinely covered a puck with his glove on the ice. Scott Hartnell skated in at the whistle and gave a little swipe. Quick did not appreciate it and he responded with swinging his goal stick and then taking a couple of swings at Hartsy. Somehow, the Kings emerged with a power play on a Hartnell double minor.
Quick would like to personally fight everyone in the NHL. No..in the world. pic.twitter.com/aF1t897Zpk— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 6, 2015
There was almost a goalie fight!
Bobrovsky really wanted to join pic.twitter.com/GmWvT4zlmp— Stephanie (@myregularface) November 6, 2015
The Columbus PK rebounded this time and killed off the penalty. Finally, to cap off an entertaining opening period, Nick Foligno reappeared in the highlights. The captain fought for the puck low and then turned out of the left corner. He simply fired the puck towards the front of the net and as can often be the case, something good happened. The puck hit Jeff Carter's skate and off of Dubinsky's leg. It ended up in the back of the net to make it a 2-1 lead.
The second period featured no scoring, but plenty of fireworks. Gregory Campbell had a "scrap" that officially went in the books as a "fight." There were a couple of instances of offsetting roughing calls as well. The Jackets could not convert on a couple of power play opportunities. In fact, the CBJ set a franchise record with no shots on net in a period for the first time ever. The defense stood tall, allowing just eight shots by the Kings after surrendering 15 in the first period. The Blue Jackets took their 2-1 lead into the second intermission despite being outshot 23-8.
Columbus was able to fight back in the third and actually won the shot tally, 17-10. Just past the halfway mark of the final 20 minutes, William Karlsson won the puck behind Bobrovsky. He fed it to Jack Johnson who went coast to coast all the way to the offensive zone. Johnson cut through the middle of the ice and fed the puck a few feet behind him once he was in the right faceoff dot. Gregory Campbell skated in and fired the puck past Quick. It was Campbell's first goal as a Blue Jacket and it made a 3-1 hockey game.
The Kings were losing the possession battle for most of the third period, but late in the period they pulled Quick for the extra attacker. With just over a minute remaining, Jeff Carter got the puck from Anze Kopitar off of an offensive zone faceoff for the Kings. Carter just immediately ripped it towards the net and the puck deflected past Bobrovsky after clipping Davad Savard's skate. It gave L.A. a glimmer of hope for the final minute at 3-2, but the Jackets closed the game out for the rare road win at the Staples Center. It was their first win against the Kings in Los Angeles since January 7, 2012.
Final - Blue Jackets win 3-2
Here we go again - another two-game win streak. It was another game in which the Jackets were outplayed for a large portion of the game, but they were able to capitalize on their chances offensively. This was an intense, physical matchup and the CBJ went toe to toe with the Kings.
-Brandon Dubinsky was all over the ice. He played over 18 minutes with a 1-1-2 line and a couple hits.
-Nick Foligno tried to get his night started with a heck of a fight. He got rewarded on the second goal by just throwing the puck to the net.
-William Karlsson picked up a secondary assist on the third goal. Wild Bill seems to be making plays in every zone nearly every game. This guy looks like he'll be good if he keeps improving, and he's impressing now as it is.
-Bob was back to being BOB. He had some outstanding saves and got some help from his friends, the post and crossbar. He was seeing the pucks better and looked much more confident.
Bottom of the Barrel
-David Savard did not have his best night.
-Ryan Johansen struggled in the faceoff circle and registered no points in 15:13 TOI. He did draw a penalty but seemed to be mostly a non-factor.
-Kevin Connauton had a couple of bad turnovers again.
The Blue Jackets go for the California sweep in Anaheim Friday night. That one is a 10:00 p.m. Eastern start.