Los Angeles Kings start road trip on the right foot, coming back from two goals to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 in overtime.
This type of performance from Darryl Sutter's club was reminiscent of the Stanley Cup teams where they fought until the very end, leaving everything on the ice while still managing to play their brand of hockey.
Wild second period ends with Blue Jackets up one
The Blue Jackets did not get many opportunities on net in the opening period but struck first on a power play, two and a half minutes into the second. Ryan Johansen and Nick Foligno exchanged a couple of passes to keep the puck moving before the captain found Scott Hartnell in front of the net and pushed his shot in behind Jonathan Quick.
A second was scored after Columbus won a faceoff in their defensive zone. Brandon Saad played a cross ice pass to a streaking Matt Calvert down the left. Calvert continued to skate towards the goalie and rifled his shot, deflecting it off his glove and doubling his side’s advantage.
There was a third goal in the second but it came off the stick of a Kings player. Drew Doughty fought for the puck in some traffic before shooting wide and off the boards behind Sergei Bobrovsky. Columbus could not clear the puck completely out of their zone as Christian Erhoff pounced on the opportunity, slamming his slap shot off the left post, cutting the lead in half with not much time remaining in the period.
Goalie change shifts momentum to the Kings
Sergei Bobrovsky was stopping everything the Kings threw his way, facing over thirty shots and stopping all but one. However, with a little over five and a half minutes remaining, he was lifted for his backup Curtis McElhinney.
Three minutes after the net minder switch, it was former Blue Jacket Jeff Carter who scored the game-tying goal with 1:27 remaining after the momentum had completely swung to the visiting team. Alec Martinez’ initial shot was stopped by McElhinney, he left a rebound though and Milan Lucic made a little pass to an open Carter and he slid it under David Savard’s leg and into the net.
In overtime is when the Kings really get to showcase their strengths of being able to use their speed in open ice and maintain the puck long enough to open up passing lanes in the offensive zone.
Dustin Brown walked up from below the goalie along the left boards, turned back towards the middle, found a wide open Nick Shore who one-timed a pass at Martinez and the defenseman made no mistake with his shot executing the play to perfection and winning the two points.
The Kings continue their six game road trip in Pittsburgh on Friday night where they will face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. For the Columbus Blue Jackets, that loss hurts, not only with the loss of their number one goalie (for who knows how long) but giving up a two goal lead to eventually lose in the extra period. They will turn their attention over to their next game on Thursday where they will play the Winnipeg Jets in Canada.