Feb 5, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Anze Kopitar (11) and right wing Dustin Brown (23) watch the puck enter the net from a shot by center Jeff Carter (77) (not pictured) during the second period against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Strong Middle Frame in Columbus Leads Kings Back in Win Column

Game 8: Kings Win 4-2, improve to 3-3-2

COLUMBUS – It took them a while to get going but the Los Angeles Kings got back in the win column with a 4-2 win in Columbus over the Blue Jackets, picking up their third win of the young season.

Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

After the Jackets opened the scoring in the first soon after a disallowed goal off the stick of defenseman Slava Voynov, the Kings seemed deterred, although that didn’t last long. Down 1-0 entering the second period, the Kings came alive. Just 32 seconds into the middle frame, Anze Kopitar picked up his third to tie the game. Less than four minutes later, it was Jeff Carter, who had been booed all night by the Columbus faithful after wanting out of Buckeye City last season, picking up his fourth of the year to give Los Angeles the lead.

While Columbus tied the game just over a minute later, the Kings were again undeterred as Slava Voynov redeemed himself from his disallowed marker earlier putting the Kings back on top with his third of the year. If you’re looking for when the Kings made their statement, it was in the second period as they outshot the Jackets 15-2 and limited them to only 17 shots overall, Columbus’ lowest shot total this season.

The score remained the same until late in the third when Mike Richards got the proverbial monkey off his back, scoring his first of the campaign to give the Kings some insurance.

While Steve Mason was good between the pipes for the Blue Jackets stopping 33 of 37 shots, Jonathan Quick, while not as busy, was just as good. Despite facing only 17 shots, Quick was good when he had to be. He avenged his shaky night in Anaheim over the weekend by making a plethora of timely saves keeping his team ahead, including a 5-on-3 and a four-minute double-minor. What went wrong for Los Angeles’ penalty-killing on Saturday night was quickly forgotten as they were on the ball tonight when down at least a man.

In addition to his first goal of the season, Mike Richards added an assist while Justin Williams was impressive potting three assists en route to the victory.

There was some controversy in addition to Slava Voynov’s early goal that was called back. In the middle frame, Columbus’ Brandon Dubinsky hit defenseman Rob Scuderi from behind into the boards in what looked like a dangerous hit. It appeared as if Dubinsky intentionally rammed Scuderi’s head right into the glass. The veteran blueliner was down for a while but got up under his own power and despite receive a deep bruise on his right eye, was able to continue playing. Mike Richards, however, did not take kindly to the hit and rightfully so. He and Dubinsky sparred with the end result seeing Dubinsky being ejected from the game. Dubinsky received a five-minute major for boarding and a game misconduct while Richards receive two instigator penalties.

Whether they treated tonight’s game as a must-win or not, the Los Angeles Kings stepped up to the plate and did not disappoint, righting everything they did wrong in Anaheim.

It’s now a day off for the Kings as they travel to the Music City next to take on the Nashville Predators on Thursday night. The Kings hope to avenge their shootout loss to the Preds last week as they hope to get another winning streak going.

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Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets Los Angeles Kings

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