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Game Preview #5: Kings of the Road

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The Blue Jackets look to continue their winning ways as they face off against the Los Angeles Kings in the Staples Center

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Los Angeles Kings Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Blue Jackets @ Kings – 10:30 PM EDT

Game Faceoff

Raise your hand if you had the Columbus Blue Jackets beating the Blackhawks and the Stars to get back to .500 on the season.

No one? Okay, now that that’s settled. We’re in unexpected territory!

The Columbus Blue Jackets have shocked many (certainly including myself) by climbing to 2-2-0 on the season, knocking off the Blackhawks and last year’s Western Conference point leaders, the Dallas Stars. Tonight, Columbus looks to keep that momentum rolling as they head to Los Angeles to take on the injury-struck Kings.

The Kings, winners of their last two as well, have done so despite shuffling goaltenders due to a rash of injuries. Netminder Jonathan Quick is out for the Kings with a groin injury, and unlike a certain Canadien last season, there is no question about it. Taking his place between the pipes is Peter Budaj, last seen on the losing end of the Calder Cup Finals as the Cleveland Monsters took home the trophy.

In Blue Jackets news, John Tortorella has spent the last few days deemphasizing the wins. It appears that he does not want the team to get too high after wins, just as he does not want them to get too low after losses- instead, he wants the young team to focus on the next task at hand.

In injury news, Joonas Korpisalo continues his progression and should be ready to return in the next two weeks. Ryan Murray will not play tonight and did not travel with the club due to a unspecified “upper body” injury. As of this writing, it was unknown if Dalton Prout or Scott Harrington would draw in in his place.

The collective sports world may be focused on Cleveland tonight (is there an event or two happening up there tonight? I hadn’t heard), but hockey season marches on. Getting two points on the road in Los Angeles would be huge for this young hockey team, and would officially outpace my prediction for the first 10 games of the season.

Let’s get a win tonight, guys.

Probable Lineups

Blue Jackets

Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Brandon Saad Alexander Wennberg Nick Foligno
Scott Hartnell William Karlsson Josh Anderson
Boone Jenner Lukas Sedlak Sonny Milano
Zach Werenski Seth Jones
Jack Johnson David Savard
Dalton Prout Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky
Curtis McElhinney

Kings

Dwight King Anze Kopitar Tyler Toffoli
Tanner Pearson Jeff Carter Devin Setoguchi
Dustin Brown Nic Dowd Andy Andreoff
Kyle Clifford Nick Shore Trevor Lewis
Brayden McNabb Drew Doughty
Jake Muzzin Alec Martinez
Derek Forbort Tom Gilbert
Peter Budaj
Jack Campbell