Game 31 (14-13-4)
COLUMBUS – I couldn’t possibly downplay tonight’s win because no matter where the Blue Jackets are in the standings, the Los Angeles Kings needed this win not only for themselves but for interim coach John Stevens, who picks up his first win since taking over from Terry Murray.
Although tonight’s game should not be used as any sort of instructional video, a win’s a win and the Kings will take it as they see their five-game winning streak come to a merciful end.
If you look at Los Angeles’ shot totals over the last few games, there shouldn’t be any reason for concern. However, they just couldn’t buy the breaks they needed to score. Tonight, they badly outshot the Jackets by a 41-22 margin and, for the first forty minutes, they had nothing to show for it and were trailing.
The Kings, though, did wake up in the third and it was an unlikely source tying the game as defenseman David Drewiske scored his first goal in 83 games. Minutes later, it was the oft-criticized Drew Doughty who took a point shot that was tipped in by Dustin Brown to give the Kings the lead and eventually the win.
Los Angeles did start off with old habits as Simon Gagne took a penalty just seven seconds into the game. Fortunately, the Kings killed off all three of their penalties but nonetheless, they need to be a lot more careful, especially in the opening frame.
Hopefully this is just the spark the Kings need as they move on to Motown for a Saturday night showdown with a tough Red Wings club. The Kings will hope to avenge their loss to Detroit back on November 16 and even the season series.
Nonetheless, a good win tonight and let’s hope for more.
Photo: Courtesy of Jeff Gross/Getty Images