After the 1st period:
Kings 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 0
The good: The first period was better than good for the Kings, it was outstanding. They scored three goals, played solid defense and even handily won a fight. Anze Kopitar turned in one of the better offensive moves of the season on the first goal, generating speed through the neutral zone, weaving past two Columbus players at the red line and then sliding a nifty pass behind his back to Dustin Brown, who was skating down the right side. Brown didn’t waste any time letting the puck fly, sending it past goalkeeper Mathieu Garon 2 minutes 13 seconds into the game. It was the third shot on goal for the Kings, and the 17th goal of the season for Brown. Alec Martinez added a power-play goal midway through the period, and Jarret Stoll scored for the second straight game on a perfectly timed centering pass from Drew Doughty for a 3-0 lead. Columbus, by the way, has allowed 11 straight goals dating back to a 4-2 loss Tuesday against Phoenix.
The bad: This one’s aimed at Derek Dorsett of Columbus. Derek, do your homework, buddy. Haven’t you been watching Kings rookie Kyle Clifford pummel one middleweight after another this season? Dorsett jumped in after Clifford came after Rostislav Klesla after his hard check on Trevor Lewis. Clifford not only landed a few good rights, but then switched up and bloodied Dorsett’s face with a couple lefts. The Kings might have lost five straight games, but they’ve won their last two fights going away.
The in between: Can’t get too excited yet. The Kings gave up five straight goals after the first period Thursday against Nashville and lost, 5-2. They need to stay out of the penalty box (except for Clifford, Wayne Simmonds and Kevin Westgarth, they can fight as much as they'd like). Stoll was called for holding late in the period and the Blue Jackets will have a clean slate of ice and 49 seconds remaining on the power play when they return for the second period.