March 8, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Curtis Sanford (30) shoves Los Angeles Kings left wing Kyle Clifford (13) as Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson (7) defends at Nationwide Arena. Columbus won the game 3-1. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Kings @ Columbus Blue Jackets Preview

Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:

Game 8 @ Columbus, February 5, 2013, 4pm PST (7pm EST)

Tonight will mark the first of three meeting this season between the Los Angeles Kings and Columbus Blue Jackets as the reigning champs pay a visit to Nationwide Arena in hopes of getting back on the right track.

Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Despite a better offensive showing, Saturday night’s game in Anaheim was one to forget for the Kings. After losing 7-4, the silver-and-black need to step their defense up a few notches and get better goaltending from either Jonathan Quick or Jonathan Bernier, although it is hard to blame either for Saturday’s loss.

Last season, the Kings and Jackets split their season series at two wins apiece and fortunately for Los Angeles, as great as Rick Nash has played against the Kings, he has since moved on as he was traded to the New York Rangers in the off-season. With that said, Artem Anisimov, who came over from the Rangers in said trade, has four goals for Columbus this season and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. That, in addition to former teammate Jack Johnson and new goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, the Kings should not treat tonight’s game as any more of a picnic than usual.

At 3-5-1, the Jackets are a point ahead of the Kings in the standings and looking gradually better than they have in the past few years. They are still missing defenseman Willie Mitchell so the Kings will need to play extra hard tonight should they hope to leave Ohio with two points.

On the bright side for Los Angeles, captain Dustin Brown has started to come alive. All three of his goals this season have not only come in the last two games but they have all come on the power play.

Offensively, the Kings had a lot working through the first 40 minutes in Anaheim over the weekend but need to keep getting better, even if it is a little-by-little process.

The action starts tonight at 4:30pm PST (7:30pm EST) and the Los Angeles Kings hope to be on the winning end when it’s all said and done.

Enjoy the game!

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Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets Los Angeles Kings

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