Kings 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1
Eight keys to the game:
THE FACTS: The Kings didn’t improve on their woeful scoring average, but they managed to end a five-game losing streak against the NHL’s worst team Thursday night at Nationwide Arena in Columbus. Dustin Brown deflected in the game winner off a slap shot from Drew Doughty with 11 minutes 48 seconds left, and goalie Jonathan Quick had 24 saves to preserve the victory.
THE STAT: The Kings, who came in as the lowest-scoring team in the NHL at 2.13 goals a game, scored two or fewer for the 10th consecutive game.
TURNING POINT: The Kings had taken 78 consecutive shots on goal without scoring before defenseman Davis Drewiske, a healthy scratch in 26 of the previous 30 games, sent a slap shot from the left point that cut through traffic and into the net to tie the score, 1-1, with 15:27 left in the third period. Less than four minutes later, the Kings took the lead for good on Brown’s goal. It was Drewiske’s first goal since October 2009.
HOT: Despite the scoring woes for the Kings, Anze Kopitar has managed to produce points as a set-up man. He assisted on Drewiske’s goal for his 15th point in the last 19 games, 11 coming on helpers.
NOT: The Kings went scoreless on three power-play opportunities, the fifth-straight game they’ve gone without a power-play goal. On their second man advantage, Doughty killed it himself by committing a tripping penalty in the offensive zone.
GOOD MOVE: Kings interim coach John Stevens, who is reportedly just keeping the seat warm until his replacement is named, made a gutsy move by keeping Drewiske in the lineup and anointing rookie Slava Voynov as a healthy scratch. Voynov had been one of the team’s few bright spots this season but had a rough go in a 3-0 loss in Boston on Tuesday night. Stevens decided to let him watch from the press box, something his predecessor, Terry Murray, never tried and Stevens was awarded with the victory.
BAD MOVE: Voynov committed an interference penalty in the first 24 seconds against Boston, and Simon Gagne bettered that against the Blue Jackets, going to the box for a hook six seconds into the game.
NOTABLE: After failing to get 40 shots on goal the first 27 games, the Kings have 41 or more in three of the last four. The 41 shots on goal is the most the Blue Jackets have allowed this season.
UP NEXT: Saturday at Detroit, 4 p.m. (PT)