Brown has goal, assist as Kings top Jackets 2-1
COLUMBUS, Ohio—Dustin Brown scored on a redirect midway through the third period and Jonathan Quick had 24 saves to lead Los Angeles to a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night, ending the Kings' five-game skid and giving interim coach John Stevens his first victory.
Brown added an assist and Davis Drewiske also scored for the Kings, who fired Terry Murray on Monday. There is wide-spread speculation that general manager Dean Lombardi is close to hiring former San Jose coach and Calgary GM Darryl Sutter as the permanent coach.
After a 5-1-1 start to the season, the Kings have gone 9-12-3.
Jeff Carter scored for Columbus -- his fourth straight game with a goal -- and also had two other scoring chances in the final minutes.
Stevens, elevated from assistant, was serving his second game as interim coach. The Kings have not scored more than two goals in any of their last 10 games since Thanksgiving and came in averaging a league-worst 2.17 goals.
Down a goal heading into the final period, the Kings' slumbering offense may have gotten some help.
At 4:33 of the third, Drewiske -- who had yet to score a goal this season -- tossed up a shot from the blue line near the left boards. As it sailed toward goalie Curtis Sanford, Brown had one skate in the crease with defenseman Fedor Tyutin nearby. The puck floated into the net high on Sanford's glove side. He quickly protested that Brown had interfered, but a review ruled it was a goal.
The Kings then grabbed the lead at the 8:12 mark when Doughty teed it up for a hard slap shot from the right point and Brown redirected it for his sixth of the year.
Quick made the lead stand. Carter's hard shot with 1:30 to go pinged off the crossbar while a crowd of 16,090 sounded its disappointment. With the Blue Jackets pulling Sanford for an extra attacker in the final seconds, James Wisniewski got off a one-timer that Quick stopped. Carter pounced on the rebound but was unable to get it past Quick.
Los Angeles controlled the puck and the pace for most of the night, putting 41 shots on goal. Sanford had a career-best 39 saves as the Blue Jackets faced a season-high in shots on goal.
Following their recent pattern, the Kings couldn't find the net in the first two periods despite outshooting Columbus 26-14. In spite of the disparity in shots, they had few prime scoring chances.
For that matter, neither did the Blue Jackets, yet they still got on the board first late in the second period. With 3:17 to go in the period and out of a faceoff in their zone, Vinny Prospal wristed a shot from the top of the right circle that went off defenseman Rob Scuderi's left skate and deflected off Carter's chest past a surprised Quick.
That's the way things have been going lately for the Kings.
Notes: Scouts from no fewer than 11 teams -- Edmonton, Tampa Bay, Vancouver, New Jersey, St. Louis, Toronto, the New York Rangers, Ottawa, Chicago, Colorado and Montreal -- were at the game. ... The Kings had been outscored 14-6 during their five-game losing streak. ... Los Angeles picked up its first win all season when trailing after two periods. The Kings came in at 0-12-1 in those situations. ... The Kings have won four straight meetings between the teams.