On Tuesday night, Dec. 8, 2015 the Los Angeles Kings needed a late rally and overtime, but were finally able to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets by a score of 3-2 in front of a crowd of 15,633 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. This was the fifth straight win for the Kings who were playing in the first game of a six-game road trip.
This was a tough win for the Kings who dominated play virtually the entire game, but were being stonewalled by Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, up until a rather strange turn of events late in the game.
This game was eerily reminiscent of a 3-2 loss to Columbus on Nov. 5, when the Kings outshot the Blue Jackets 15-8 in the first period, but found themselves trailing 2-1. This time around, the Kings found themselves down 2-1 after having outshot Columbus by a margin of 23-11 after two periods.
The third period saw the Kings up the tempo and press the attack, but they still had trouble with Bobrovsky who was playing terrific. Late in the game, after a rather innocent-looking play, Bobrovsky abruptly left the game with an apparent lower-body injury. As a result, backup netminder Curtis McElhinney took his place between the pipes with just over five minutes left in regulation time. The Kings peppered McElhinney, but were unable to tie the game.
As time wound down, Kings head coach Darryl Sutter pulled goaltender Jonathan Quick, in favor of an extra skater. Shortly thereafter, Jeff Carter scored his 11th goal of the season with just 1:27 remaining in regulation time. The Kings outshot Columbus 16-10 in the third period.
As usual, the 3-on-3 overtime session was a thriller. Shots on goal in overtime wound up even at 2-2, but Alec Martinez scored on the Kings’ second shot on goal with just 27 seconds remaining in overtime. The Kings have now won five games in overtime this season, and though they have lost one game in a shootout, have yet to give up a goal in overtime.
Kings notes – Forward Kyle Clifford was sidelined due to an upper-body injury, so the Kings dressed seven defensemen – Drew Doughty, Brayden McNabb, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Christian Ehrhoff, Jamie McBain and Derek Forbort. With an overall record of 18-8-1 the Kings are in 1st place in the Pacific division and are seven points behind the Dallas Stars for the best record in the Western Conference. The road trip continues on Friday night, Dec. 11 when the Kings face the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Dec. 8, 2015 – LA Kings vs Columbus Blue Jackets. Final score: LAK 3, CBJ 2 (OT). Final shots on goal: LAK 41, CBJ 23. Power play: CBJ 1/2, LAK 0/3. Three Stars of the game: 1) Sergei Bobrovsky – CBJ, 2) Alec Martinez – LAK, 3) Jeff Carter – LAK. Goaltenders: LAK – Jonathan Quick. CBJ – Sergei Bobrovsky/Curtis McElhinney.