Sizzling Kings use another big 2nd period to top Blue Jackets

LOS ANGELES — For the second straight game the Kings rode a four-goal second period to a comfortable victory, thrashing the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-1, on Thursday night at Crypto.Com Arena.

The Kings improved to 7-0-1 in their past eight games and moved within a point of the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division after former Kings goalie Jonathan Quick and his new team, Vegas, were walloped, 7-2, by the Calgary Flames. Third-place Edmonton won Thursday to remain five points behind the Kings.

Winger Viktor Arvidsson, defenseman Drew Doughty, winger Carl Grundstrom and center Anze Kopitar all scored for the Kings, with Grundstrom adding an assist. All four goals came at even strength. Pheonix Copley made 30 saves, including a beauty on winger Patrik Laine during a power play.

Defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and goalie Joonas Korpisalo both played their entire careers in Columbus prior to the Feb. 28 trade that made them Kings and sent Quick, ultimately, to Vegas. Korpisalo backed up Thursday while Gavrikov logged more than 21 minutes.

Winger Kirill Marchenko scored the lone goal for Columbus. Daniil Tarasov and Michael Hutchinson shared the burden in net; Tarasov stopped 23 of 27 shots before Hutchinson was flawless in relief, turning away all nine shots he faced.

Much of the final period could have been played with a running clock, though the Blue Jackets saved some face early. Columbus ruined Copley’s shutout 4:31 into the third period when the rookie Marchenko’s shot from the slot resulted in his 17th goal of the season.

The Kings cemented their victory with two goals that came with 7:24 and 6:12 left in the second period, respectively, and chased Tarasov from the game.

During an evening when the Kings played a methodical team game, two of their goals came from remarkable individual efforts, including Grundstrom’s unassisted …read more

Source:: Los Angeles Daily News

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