Friday, February 07, 2014
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Regehr's OT goal carries Kings past Blue Jackets

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[February 07, 2014]  LOS ANGELES  If the Los Angeles Kings are to re-establish themselves as Stanley Cup contenders, their final game before the Olympic break will be remembered as a step in the right direction.

Playing from behind for the fifth consecutive game, they put together a third-period rally and won for the first time in 10 days.

Defenseman Robyn Regehr scored the overtime winner, and goaltender Jonathan Quick stopped 24 shots as the Kings defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 Thursday.

Regehr took a pass from center Mike Richards and snapped a shot from 50 feet past screened Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky for his second goal of the season 2:33 into extra time. Regehr scored in overtime for the first time ever. Both of his goals this season came against the Blue Jackets.

"The guys were giving me a hard time before the game about scoring a goal a couple of weeks ago in their building," Regehr said. "We've been on a terrible run over the last month, so we're really happy to get the win."

Los Angeles (31-22-6) broke a four game losing streak and won for the first time at home since Jan. 13 against the Vancouver Canucks. The Kings played themselves out of home-ice advantage for the playoffs with 16 losses over 22 games.


"It's important that we got that win," Los Angeles winger Dustin Brown said. "This team has been struggling, and we are trying to find a way to break through. We have a good team here."

The Blue Jackets (29-23-5) played a solid road game, limiting the Kings' chances and killing off six minor penalties, but they dropped their fourth straight game in Los Angeles. One of the reasons Columbus is in contention for a playoff spot is a solid road record: 13-12-3.

"Our team played a very strong road game tonight," Columbus center Ryan Johansen said. "Credit to L.A., they really stuck to their game and found a way to win. That's the way it goes sometimes. I think Quick made a few big saves on us. It was a good road game for our team, though."

Columbus adapted well to the grinding style of play that opponents face when they venture west to play Pacific Division teams. The Blue Jackets competed well, and on most nights they would have escaped with two points.

"There wasn't a lot of space out there," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "It was an intense, physical game, and we knew that coming in, and I thought we were going to get tested here in this building."


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Down 1-0 entering the third period, the Kings evened the score during a four-on-four play on defenseman Jake Muzzin's fourth goal of the season at 3:09. Muzzin deflected a feed from center Anze Kopitar between Bobrovsky's pads with defenseman Drew Doughty earning the secondary assist.

It was the seventh straight Los Angeles goal on which Kopitar either scored or collected an assist, a stretch spanning eight games.

The highlight of a scoreless middle frame came when Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky had a chance to double the margin with less than six minutes to play on a breakaway, but he was turned away by Quick.

Columbus started quickly when defenseman Jack Johnson scored his fourth of the season on the power play at 1:40 of the first period. With Los Angeles winger Tyler Toffoli in the box for hooking, Johnson beat Quick with a wrist shot from 35 feet off a feed from Johansen. The score marked the fifth consecutive game in which the Kings surrendered the first goal of the game.

The Kings' best chance to even the game in the first half of the middle period came with them a man down. Winger Trevor Lewis broke in on an odd-man rush, but his wrist shot was turned away by Bobrovsky's pad.

The Blue Jackets continued to control play throughout the opening period, ending with a shot advantage of 10-2 and winning 17 of 23 faceoffs.

Columbus earned a point for the fourth consecutive game, and it trails the Detroit Red Wings by one point for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Bobrovsky stopped 18 Los Angeles shots in defeat.


NOTES: Columbus scratched LW Blake Comeau, D Tim Erixon and D Cody Goloubef. ... Blue Jackets D James Wisniewski is on pace for a 52-point season. His total of 34 is already a career high. ... Columbus will conclude the pre-Olympics portion of its schedule Friday in San Jose against the Sharks. ... The Kings did not dress C Colin Fraser and D Alec Martinez. ... Trade rumors continue to swirl around the Kings, with LW Kyle Clifford the most likely candidate to move in favor of an offensive player who could help Los Angeles' 28th-ranked power play. ... Los Angeles has only two power-play goals in its past nine games.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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