Kings Look For Continued Road Success In Columbus Against Blue Jackets

(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Kings will try to continue their recent road success tonight, when they visit the surging Columbus Blue Jackets for a battle at Nationwide Arena. The Kings have played six contests so far on a 10-game road trip and have yet to lose in regulation, posting a 4-0-2 mark during the swing. After tonight, Los Angeles will head to New York for a pair of games against the Rangers and Islanders before closing the swing in California when they visit the rival Ducks on Feb. 23 in Anaheim.

LA has notched wins in two straight since dropping an overtime decision in Pittsburgh last Thursday. The latest victory came Sunday in Philadelphia, as the Kings stymied the top team in the Eastern Conference. Jonathan Quick stopped all 40 shots he faced in Los Angeles' 1-0 victory over the Flyers. Drew Doughty scored the lone goal 17 seconds into the second period for the Kings.

"I liked the way we did things the right way with our top players and our goaltending, which was outstanding," said Kings head coach Terry Murray. The victory improved Los Angeles' record to 7-0-2 in its last nine games. Despite sitting last in the Pacific Division, the Kings have managed to record 65 points this season, leaving them just one point out of a playoff spot in the West. LA is tied with Minnesota in the conference standings and is just one point in back of Calgary. Both the Wild and Flames are in action tonight.

The Blue Jackets are currently four points behind the Kings in the conference standings, but Columbus has been playing solid hockey in recent weeks. Columbus has earned wins in five of its last six games and the club has earned at least a point in 10 of its last 13 games (8-3-2). The Blue Jackets will try to post a third straight win tonight after notching a victory in their last outing this past Sunday in Dallas.

Rick Nash scored the go-ahead goal in the second period and Steve Mason stopped 29 shots to lead the Blue Jackets to the 2-1 win over the Stars at American Airlines Center. Matt Calvert notched the other goal for the victors. Mason is a big reason for Columbus' recent resurgence, but the goaltender may not be able to start tonight due to a case of bronchitis that caused him to miss practice. Mason hasn't been ruled out for tonight and the former Calder Trophy winner is 7-3-1 over his last 11 games and he has allowed a total of just eight goals over his last five contests.

At the very least, Mason could serve as the backup tonight to Mathieu Garon. The Kings and Blue Jackets have split a pair of meetings so far this season and both contests were high-scoring affairs that took place in Los Angeles. Columbus won a 5-3 decision on Nov. 17 and the Kings posted a 6-4 victory on Jan. 8.

Overall, Los Angeles has taken seven out of 11 in the series and the Kings have won three of their last five games in Ohio. Columbus is 14-13-1 as the host this season and has won two of its last three tests at Nationwide Arena.

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