|CBJ||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
|LAK||1||1||1||(0 - 0)||3|
The Los Angeles Kings are returning from the All-Star break hoping the time off hasn't hampered their momentum - particularly on offense.
The Kings look to re-establish their success against the Blue Jackets when they conclude this four-game homestand on Wednesday night.
Los Angeles (24-16-10) is in the thick of the Pacific Division race, despite scoring an NHL-low 111 goals.
Those scoring issues have put a great deal of pressure on All-Star goaltender Jonathan Quick, who leads the league with six shutouts and is among the leaders with a 1.93 goals-against average.
While consistent scoring continues to be an issue for the Kings, they've lost just twice in regulation over the last 18 games (10-2-6) while averaging 2.2 goals. One of those regulation defeats was a 1-0 loss to Columbus (13-31-6) on Jan. 7.
Los Angeles has scored at least three goals in five of eight games since, including a 4-1 win over Ottawa on Jan. 23 before entering the break.
"We're going to have some games where we score in bunches, and we're going to have games where we have to battle it out," said Quick, who is 9-2-5 with a 1.51 GAA and two shutouts over his last 16 games.
Quick has split six home decisions against the Blue Jackets, compiling a 2.03 GAA with one shutout.
The Kings have won seven of nine versus Columbus, which is 5-18-3 on the road, including six consecutive losses.
Anze Kopitar, Los Angeles' leader with 15 goals and 44 points, has 11 goals and 11 assists in 17 meetings with the Blue Jackets. He was held without a point on Jan. 7, ending his 10-game point streak in the series.
Kopitar will look to re-establish that success against Columbus after getting one point in the last three games.
Drew Doughty will try to build on his two assists against the Senators. He has 15 points in 14 career meetings with the Blue Jackets - nine in seven contests at Staples Center.
The Blue Jackets looked every bit like the league's worst team Tuesday, falling 6-0 at San Jose for their fifth straight loss.
"Three of those goals were self-inflicted," interim coach Todd Richards said. "We had control of the puck and they took it away from us and scored. We made it harder on ourselves with poor puck management. ... Clearly, we were not good enough. Not enough guys doing the right things for us to have success."
They dropped a season-high six in a row from Dec. 15-27.
Rick Nash leads Columbus with 17 goals, but has just one in six games. The left wing hasn't found the net in three games against Los Angeles after collecting five goals and two assists in the previous three meetings.
Nash's minus-22 rating is among the worst in the NHL.
Grant Clitsome is a minus-11, and the defenseman's only goal in 28 games was the lone tally in the last meeting with the Kings.