Kings at Blue Jackets
The Los Angeles Kings finally got their slumbering power play to come alive, but a woeful defensive effort negated the rare outburst. The reigning Stanley Cup champions will attempt to tighten things up in their own end Tuesday when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second stop of a five-game road trip. Despite its stagnant power play producing a pair of goals, Los Angeles never led in Saturday's 7-4 loss at Anaheim. Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick was yanked after surrendering two goals in the first six minutes.
Columbus has major issues of its own on the blue line, primarily because of injuries. The Blue Jackets turned in their finest performance of the season with a 4-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, but the win was dimmed by a head injury to defenseman James Wisniewski in the second period. Wisniewski, who has collected five points in nine games, was scheduled to be evaluated Monday for a suspected concussion and has already been ruled out against Los Angeles.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), FSN Ohio (Columbus)
ABOUT THE KINGS (2-3-2): Los Angeles ranked last in the league on the power play before converting twice with the man advantage against the Ducks. Captain Dustin Brown scored both power-play goals but was more concerned with how Anaheim shredded the Kings for seven goals, including three with the extra skater. "Generally we're a pretty good defensive team, but we gave up a lot of really good scoring chances," Brown told The Associated Press. "I think we should use this game as a wakeup call. We should use this as motivation to be better."
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (3-5-1): Columbus' defensive corps resembles a skating M*A*S*H unit. Aside from Wisniewski, defenseman Nikita Nikitin was placed on injured reserve and fellow blue-liner Johnny Moore was forced to leave Monday's practice with a lower body injury. The Blue Jackets called up defenseman Nick Holden from their American Hockey League affiliate in Springfield and were planning to summon another defenseman, Cody Goloubef, in the wake of Moore's injury. The myriad injuries forced Jack Johnson to play a franchise-record 34:59 against Detroit.
1. The teams split four meetings last season, combining for a total of 13 goals.
2. Brown's two power-play goals gave him 63 for his career, moving him past Wayne Gretzky for seventh on the franchise list.
3. Artem Anisimov, one of the players acquired in the Rick Nash trade, scored two goals against Detroit.
Kings 4, Blue Jackets 1