Two late-period, last minute goals churned the momentum for Columbus tonight against the Kings at Nationwide Arena, as the Blue Jackets continue their resurgence, now spotlighted as the NHL’s hottest team.
The Kings were outplayed in most facets of the game tonight, as Columbus recorded their seventh consecutive win, marking a new franchise record.
It was all Kings at the start, as they came out looking sharp, displaying much better puck movement on two early power play opportunities.
Dwight King would strike first, giving the Kings a 1-0 lead just 2:42 into the night, as he pounded home a rebound off a Trevor Lewis shot past Blue Jackets netminder Sergei Bobrovski for his 11th goal of the season, and his first in 14 games.
Columbus responded ten minutes later, when RJ Umberger tipped home the equalizer past Martin Jones on a Blue Jackets power play.
Then, with just :58 seconds remaining in the first period, Ryan Johanson received a long stretch-pass and flew past the Kings defense, and beat Martin Jones with a slick flick of the wrist to bank the puck off the cross-bar, off Jones’ back, and into the net.
Tonight wasn’t Jones’ most memorable game in a Kings uniform.
Jeff Carter, who was booed every time he touched the puck tonight, got a little redemption when he tied the game 8:39 into the second period. Carter, after trading passes with Mike Richards, snuck the puck underneath Sergei Bobrovsky from point-blank range for his 20th goal of the season, and his fourth in as many games.
The Blue Jackets would bury a pair goals just :89 seconds apart later in the period to reclaim a 4-2 lead.
Artem Anisimov made matters worse, tucking home Columbus’ fifth goal of the evening to give the Blue Jackets a 5-2 lead with 4:41 left to play.
Robyn Regehr would score his first goal of the season in garbage time with 3:10 left to play, but that would be all the goals the Kings could muster, falling 5-3 to the Blue Jackets tonight at Nationwide Arena.
The Kings will host the Columbus Blue Jackets on February 6 at STAPLES Center in their final meeting of the season.
Now with a 29-16-6 record, which is good for 64 points, the Kings sit at sixth-place in the Western Conference.
The Kings now return to Southern California to finish up this grueling five-game road trip, where they’ve gone 1-2-1 so far, for a date with the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Thursday night.
Puck drops at 7:00 PT. Catch KINGS LIVE on FOX SPORTS WEST at 6:30.