NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, February 5th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (2-3-2) at Columbus Blue Jackets (3-5-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will try to avoid their second three-
game losing streak of the young season when they continue a road trip with
Tuesday's matchup against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
After winning the franchise's first Stanley Cup title last spring, the Kings
have struggled considerably so far in 2013. Los Angeles is 2-3-2 on the
season, leaving the defending champs in 14th place out of 15 teams in the
L.A. has lost two straight and the club is coming off Saturday's 7-4 loss in
Anaheim. That contest kicked off a five-game road trip for Kings and the
lopsided loss dropped the team's away record this season to 1-2-1.
Dustin Brown scored two power-play goals for the Kings, who went 2-for-4 on
the power play but also let Anaheim score three times on four chances with the
man advantage. Drew Doughty and Simon Gagne each had a pair of assists in the
Jonathan Quick, the Conn Smythe winner from last year's championship run,
continued his early-season slump on Saturday. He was chased from the game
after allowing two goals on three shots in the first period and Jonathan
Bernier turned aside 17-of-21 shots in relief.
"We've let ourselves down and shot ourselves in the foot by poor defensive
play," said Kings forward Justin Williams. "For whatever reason, we've been
having tough times starting games. We've been getting behind early and trying
to battle back. Once we do get back, we seem to just relax a bit. We're a much
better team than we're showing and it's extremely disappointing at this point
to see where we are."
Quick, who is 2-2-2 with an .897 save percentage this season, is expected to
be back in net on Tuesday.
Columbus earned just its third win of the season in its last trip to the ice,
defeating the visiting Detroit Red Wings in a 4-2 decision at Nationwide
Arena. It was only the second win in the last eight trips to the ice for the
Blues Jackets, who halted a two-game slide with the victory over their Central
Artem Anisimov scored a pair of goals to lead the Blue Jackets in Saturday's
victory and he now has four goals on the season. The Russian forward was one
of the pieces acquired when Columbus traded franchise player Rick Nash to the
New York Rangers last summer.
"I'm still learning (Anisimov) and his game," Columbus coach Todd Richards
said. "He's a big, really responsible center. So from a coaching standpoint I
see a guy who's really reliable. And then he makes offensive plays and you see
another side of him. As coaches, we want guys we can trust. (Anisimov) is a
guy that I trust tremendously (because of) his responsibility defensively."
Mark Letestu and James Wisniewski also lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets, but
the latter player's goal was overshadowed by the concussion he suffered in the
A scary scene in the early stages of the second stanza ended with Wisniewski
being helped off the ice. Wisniewski was chasing the puck with teammate Nick
Foligno. Detroit's Justin Abdelkader trailed the two players and appeared to
make contact with Foligno, who then made contact with Wisniewski. Wisniewski
spun around and landed back-first against the end boards. He stayed down on
the ice for several minutes before a pair of teammates helped him to the
Wisniewski, who has two goals and three assists this season, is sidelined
The Blue Jackets and Kings split four meetings in 2011-12, but L.A. has
victories in eight of the last 11 encounters in this series. The Kings had won
four consecutive games in Columbus until the Blue Jackets recorded a 3-1
decision at Nationwide Arena on March 8 of last season.
02/05 10:49:51 ET