|7:30 PM PT8:30 PM MT9:30 PM CT10:30 PM ET2:30 GMT10:30 7:30 PM MST9:30 PM EST6:30 UAE (+1)22:30 ETNaN:� BRT, November 3, 2018
Staples Center, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 18,230
Kings look to tighten defense vs. Blue Jackets
Columbus Blue Jackets at Los Angeles Kings
- Columbus has won only once in eight visits to Staples Center since February 2012 (1-5-2). In their last nine road games against the Kings, the Blue Jackets have scored a total of 15 goals.
- Columbus' 43 goals in 2018-19 are the most the franchise has ever scored in its first 12 games of a season -- but the 44 goals allowed by the Blue Jackets are the second most for the team through 12 contests (46 in 2015-16).
- With Thursday's 5-2 loss to Philadelphia, the Kings have been held to two goals or fewer nine times in 12 games -- tied with two other teams for the most such games in the league. Los Angeles has only six even-strength goals in its last six contests.
- Artemi Panarin has recorded nine points in five road games in 2018-19 -- most ever for a Blue Jacket in the team's first five road games of a season. Panarin has six points at home; he had more points on the road than at home in each of his first three seasons.
- Dion Phaneuf is pointless in 12 games in 2018-19 and is a minus-9. He has the worst plus-minus entering the weekend among players who have not registered a goal or assist.
- The Kings' save percentage has dropped 42 points from last season, from .920 to .878 -- this is the second-largest drop in the league (Florida -- 44-point drop). The Blue Jackets have endured the seventh-largest drop, 24 points (.912 to .888).
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The Los Angeles Kings were the toughest team to score against in the NHL last season and have finished in the top eight in the league the past eight years in that category.
But they've got some shoring to do on defense heading into their game Saturday night against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets at Staples Center.
The Kings (3-8-1) have allowed at least four goals in seven of the past eight games and have lost all seven of those contests, most recently 5-2 against the visiting Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night.
Jack Campbell has taken over as the No. 1 goalie after Jonathan Quick missed five games with a lower-body injury, returned to allow 14 goals in three games and then underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee earlier this week.
"The first thing you want to do is blame Jack, right, because Jonathan Quick's hurt," Kings coach John Stevens said after the loss to the Flyers, "You can't do that. He's going in there, making big saves at key times and trying to give your team a chance to win. We've got to do more in front of him."
The Blue Jackets (7-5-0) have struggled with their own goalie issues.
Sergei Bobrovsky and Joonas Korpisalo have a combined save percentage of .888, which is 24th in the league, but Bobrovsky had the best goalie performance of the season in 4-1 win at the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night. He made 44 saves as the Blue Jackets held an opponent under two goals for the first time this season.
"It was a good game to start the trip and it's a good game that we can show them things on what we need to do to be successful," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "Hopefully, it will continue."
Another bright spot that Tortorella would like to see carried over to Saturday was the play of left wing Anthony Duclair, who had a goal and an assist for his second multi-point game in the past four.
Duclair, who left the Arizona Coyotes to sign a one-year deal with Columbus in the offseason, has scored six of his eight points on the road this season, but Tortorella said he's been uninvolved in some recent games.
"I can't find him, as far as intensity," he said. "I can see the warts on Duc, I can. We're going to spend a lot of time with him trying to scrape them off because we think he's worth it. We think there's such a high end that's there. We're going to help him. One way or another, we're going to help them to try to get there because I think it would be very important to our club."
The Kings know how quickly an emotional win can go down the drain.
They scored with 55 seconds left in regulation to beat the visiting New York Rangers 4-3 on Sunday. The win ended a six-game losing streak, but after three days between games the Kings started a new one on Thursday.
"We just have to be consistent," Los Angeles left wing Ilya Kovalchuk said. "We can't play one game and we then think that we're back at it. ... You've got to be 100 percent ready every game."
Updated November 2, 2018