Kings Enter Olympic Break With OT Win Over Blue Jackets
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jonathan Quick beat fellow Olympic goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky with 24 saves, Jake Muzzin scored the tying goal early in the third period and Robyn Regehr got the game-winner 2:33 into overtime to help the Los Angeles Kings beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Thursday night.
In the final game for both clubs before the Olympic break, the Kings snapped a four-game losing streak with their second victory in 12 games.
Bobrovsky, last season’s Vezina Trophy winner, stopped 18 shots and lost for just the third time in 13 starts. Jack Johnson scored Columbus’ goal during a power play early in the first period.
Regehr used teammate Jeff Carter and Blue Jackets defenseman Denis Savard as a screen before slapping his second goal of the season — and second career OT goal — past Bobrovsky from the top of the left circle. It was only the eighth goal by the Kings in a span of eight games, including a 5-3 loss to Chicago on Monday.
The Kings, 0-for-6 on the power play, got the equalizer with 16:51 left in regulation and the teams skating four-on-four. Muzzin cruised down the slot and converted Anze Kopitar’s centering pass for his fourth goal after staggered penalties to Columbus’ Nikita Nikitin for hooking and Slava Voynov for tripping.
For the second straight game, the Kings gave up a power-play goal in the first 2 minutes. Johnson got a cross-ice pass from Ryan Johansen in the right circle and beat Quick to the glove side with a 35-foot wrist shot while Tyler Toffoli was off for hooking.
Johnson’s goal was his second in 53 games and fourth this season.
Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin hit the right post with a 55-foot slap shot during the Blue Jackets’ next power play, which came after Los Angeles was penalized for having too many men on the ice at 13:29 of the first.
The Kings, who were outshot 10-2 in the opening period, got their first power play opportunity 1:50 before intermission. But the final 38 seconds of the man advantage were negated when they were assessed another bench minor for too many men.
Another Kings power play was cut short early in the second period, when captain Dustin Brown was sent off for charging with 14 seconds left on Brandon Dubinsky’s goalie interference penalty.
Los Angeles’ next power play came at 9:21 of the second, after R.J. Umberger’s delay-of-game penalty. But Quick had to be sharp to thwart rapid-fire short-handed attempts by Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov just outside the crease.
NOTES: Get-well wishes to former Kings broadcaster Pete Weber, who is in a St. Paul, Minn. hospital after undergoing a successful heart procedure. Weber currently is the TV play-by-play man for the Nashville Predators. … All four Blue Jackets players who will be competing at the Sochi Olympics were born in Russia — Bobrovsky, Tyutin, Anisimov and Nikitin. Slovakian-born RW Marian Gaborik, a two-time Olympian, withdrew on Thursday due to his slow recovery from a broken collarbone that occurred on Dec. 21 and required surgery. … Four years ago, Los Angeles was 9-7-5 following the Olympic break and Columbus was 7-7-5. The Kings’ front office gave Johnson permission to travel to Vancouver between games so he become the first American-born NHL player ever to participate in the Opening Ceremony. He marched beside gold medal-winning snowboarder Shaun White during the Parade of Nations. … Quick is one of six Kings players who will go to the Olympics, along with equipment manager Darren Granger.