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(Thursday, April 18th)
Final Score: Los Angeles 2, Columbus 1
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Kyle Clifford scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and the Los Angeles Kings held on to upend the Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-1, at Staples Center.
Drew Doughty registered a power-play goal in the first period for the Kings, who kept up with the San Jose Sharks in the battle for the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference as both teams have 55 points. Los Angeles, though, holds the tiebreaker and both teams have four games to play.
The only goal allowed by Jonathan Quick came off the stick of Dalton Prout. Quick ended with 20 saves, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 21 shots for the Blue Jackets, who remain two points ahead of the Detroit Red Wings and Dallas Stars for the last West's final playoff spot with three games to play. The Wings and Stars both have five games remaining on their schedule.
"It was physical and emotional, there's a lot on the line. They're a committed group and they're big. One thing they all do is defend. They make things difficult," Blue Jackets head coach Todd Richards said.
Columbus, which had won five straight coming in, fell behind in the first period when Doughty bounced one off Fedor Tyutin's leg and into the back of the net at the 8:35 mark.
Prout's first NHL marker, a wrist shot from the point, tied it at the 12:07 mark of the middle stanza, but Clifford banged home a loose puck 1:25 later for the eventual game-winner.
Quick was up to the task on all nine shots he faced over the final 20 minutes to seal the win.
"We're both fighting for a playoff spot. They're one of the hottest teams. We knew they would bring a lot of energy. It's good to get two points in regulation and not let them get a point," Quick said.
The Kings improved to 17-4-1 at home ... Kings defenseman Matt Greene was activated for the first time since undergoing back surgery after playing in the season opener ... Columbus plays at San Jose on Sunday, the same day the Kings host the Stars.
04/19 01:41:06 ET