Previewing the Los Angeles Kings’ 2012-13 season:
Game 44 vs. Columbus, April 18, 2013, 7:30pm PST (10:30pm EST)
After a brief stop in San Jose, the Los Angeles Kings are back home for their Thursday night tilt with the Columbus Blue Jacketsin what will be the third and final meeting of the season between the two clubs.
While they were looked as somewhat of an easy opponent in recent years, the Jackets have turned a corner and that is thanks in large part to goaltender and Vezina Trophy front-runner Sergei Bobrovsky whose maiden season in Columbus has turned a hapless club into a playoff contender. But as surprising as Columbus has been this year, the Kings have won both meetings thus far as they look for the series sweep in front of their home fans.
It has been a while since these two clubs met. The last time, in fact, was back on February 15 at Staples Center with Los Angeles coming out with a 2-1 victory. Before that, the Kings won 4-2 at Columbus’s Nationwide Arena back on February 5. But don’t let that make you overlook this club as the Jackets are winners of five-straight heading into Thursday night.
While the Kings will be welcoming back one of their former mates in Jack Johnson, they need to watch for the newest Blue Jacket as since being acquired from the New York Rangers earlier this month, Marian Gaborik has three goals and four assists in his eight games since being traded and overall, has 20 goals and 10 assists in 28 career games against the Kings.
As for the Kings, they have some hot hands of their own including Anze Kopitar who has a goal and nine assists in his last 12 games.
It’s that final push for the playoffs and while Los Angeles tries to create some momentum heading into the postseason, the Blue Jackets are simply trying to get in for the first time since 2009 and ultimately hope to become the second eighth-seeded team is as many year to win Lord Stanley’s Cup. But let’s take this one step at a time.
Enjoy the game!