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Kings riding four-game win streak after 5-1 victory over Blue Jackets

February 22, 2024, 1:56 AM ET [1 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The Los Angeles Kings earned their fourth straight win last night, defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 to kick off their homestand.

Initially, it looked like the Blue Jackets had opened the scoring off a goal from Johnny Gaudreau roughly midway through the period - however, upon a challenge for goalie interference, we saw the goal called back and the game remained scoreless. Then later in the frame, Quinton Byfield managed to open the scoring for real, making an excellent move to get past Zach Werenski, before backhanding a shot over Elvis Merzlikins for a highlight reel goal, putting the Kings up 1-0 through 20 minutes.

Early in the second period, Pierre-Luc Dubois then managed to get to a dump-in/pass from Brandt Clarke off the end boards on a power play, and put a nice shot over Merzlikins to extend the lead.

However, Columbus got on the board only a few minutes later, Jack Roslovic threw a puck at Cam Talbot from behind the net after a scramble, and it banked off Talbot and in. The Kings would reinstate the two-goal lead a little later though, with Dubois taking a pass from Byfield and sliding the puck through Merzlikins to make it a 3-1 game.

It then looked like the Kings may have had their third goal of the period from Drew Doughty off a redirection in front, but we saw another goalie interference decision, and the Kings remained up by two heading into the second intermission.

In the third period, Los Angeles got into a bit of penalty trouble midway through the frame and Columbus was able to throw a high volume of shots at Cam Talbot with their opportunities. However, the Kings managed to escape with the two-goal lead intact, before a power play goal for Kevin Fiala, along with a late tally from Drew Doughty secured a 5-1 win for the Kings.

With the win, the Kings keep riding a wave of momentum from the coaching change, now sitting at a 5-1-0 record under Jim Hiller. Los Angeles is looking more and more like the team that was so hot to start the year, and even against a weaker opponent, it’s good to see the offense clicking more.

Pierre-Luc Dubois in particular continues to find his game, with two more goals last night against his former team. He’s now at six points in his last six games and while it’s going to take a lot more where that came from to really be providing the value he should, it’s a good start. Moving Quinton Byfield down the lineup has also really helped, and he deserves a lot of credit of his own. Aside from the ridiculous goal, Byfield has been one of the team’s better forwards over the last stretch, with six goals and 12 points over the last 10 games. Meanwhile, it was also nice to see Kevin Fiala breaking his five-game pointless drought as well.

Meanwhile, the Kings continue to benefit from stable goaltending lately, with Talbot stopping 32 shots in the win. The goal he allowed was a bit of a fluke, but Talbot denied two breakaways and quite a few other good chances in the win, and it was another game where Los Angeles could count on their goalie.

Brandt Clarke also continues to make an impact, and while he’s expectedly not playing a ton, he picked up another assist on the first Dubois goal. Through 10 games this season with the Kings, Clarke is already sitting at five points and there’s likely no intention of pulling him out of the lineup in the immediate future, given Jordan Spence was just loaned to Ontario.

The unfortunate news coming out of the game was that Viktor Arvidsson was hurt in the third period and left the game. There’s no update as of now, and given how much the winger can add to the top-nine and the fact that he’s only just returned, hopefully it’s nothing serious.

With the win though, the Kings continue to climb back into contention for a top-three seed in the Pacific Division. While the Vancouver Canucks aren’t likely to be caught, there’s a logjam shaping up between Los Angeles, Edmonton and Vegas for the two remaining Pacific spots.

Los Angeles will be back in action tomorrow, when they continue their homestand against the Nashville Predators.


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