Blue Jackets-Kings Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 18, 2013
The Los Angeles Kings became the first eighth seed to win the Stanley Cup last year. The Columbus Blue Jackets are currently eighth in the Western Conference, and are hoping to pad their slight lead in their quest for the Cup. The Blue Jackets try to match the longest winning streak in franchise history Thursday night when they visit the Kings. Los Angeles (24-14-5) is tied with San Jose for fourth in the conference while holding the tiebreaker for home-ice advantage for a first-round playoff series. Both teams are a relatively comfy, sitting six points clear of the postseason cutoff with five games to play. Columbus (21-16-7), which has four games left, isn't nearly as comfortable in eighth place, two points ahead of Detroit and four in front of Dallas. However, the Red Wings have a game in-hand while the Stars have two as they host Vancouver. The Blue Jackets also trail seventh-place St. Louis by one point and sixth-place Minnesota by two. Columbus is looking to improve its position in the standings by equaling its team record winning streak of six games set from March 24-April 3, 2006. The Jackets got closer to that mark Wednesday, when Fedor Tyutin scored 2:19 into overtime of a 3-2 win over Pacific Division-leading Anaheim. It was their third game in a row decided after regulation. "We are extremely committed. That's all we talk about," left wing R.J. Umberger said. "We want to make the playoffs and we want to win the Stanley Cup. That's our goal from Day One." Sergei Bobrovsky, who had 26 saves against the Ducks, has started every game of the winning streak, compiling a 1.54 goals-against average and one shutout. Bobrovsky is among the league leaders with a 2.03 GAA and four shutouts, as he continues to build his case to become the first Russian to win the Vezina Trophy. He's lost both of his career games against Los Angeles, despite a 1.53 GAA. That includes a 20-save performance in a 2-1 road defeat on Feb. 15, as the Blue Jackets lost for the second time in as many meetings this season. This time, Columbus will have Marian Gaborik, who was acquired earlier this month in a trade from the New York Rangers. He has three goals and four assists in eight games since the deal, but hasn't found the net in the first three of this six-game road trip. A meeting with the Kings may get the star right wing going again. He has 20 goals and 10 assists in 28 career meetings, totaling 17 points over the past 13 and scoring one goal in each of the last seven. However, he hasn't faced them since an overtime loss with the Rangers on Oct. 7, 2011. Los Angeles is in a 2-1-2 stretch that continued with a 3-2 shootout loss on the road to the Sharks on Tuesday. "We need to not turn so many pucks over. We assisted on both their goals," coach Darryl Sutter said. Anze Kopitar has 10 points (one goal, nine assists) in 12 games. He would seem to be in ideal position to continue scoring since he has 13 goals and as many assists in 24 career meetings with the Jackets.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jon Beason retires after nine NFL seasons

Brewers Association sends Peyton Manning case of craft beer

Report: Police recommend charges against LeSean McCoy

Heat interested in Kings’ 3-point specialist Omri Casspi

Rick Pitino thinks Louisville should be fined $10 million for scandal

Browns LB Armonty Bryant indicted on felony drug charge


Report: Danny Ainge 'excited' at chance to add Al Horford

Pat Haden collapsed on USC campus

Colts on Andrew Luck contract: ‘It’s going to be a shocking number’

GW basketball coach kicked out of daughter’s HS game

A-Rod is (inadvertently) hurting the Yankees

Report: CM Punk to have back surgery, UFC debut delayed

Defensemen in high demand as NHL trade deadline looms

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

Security guard indicted for assaulting University of Houston football fan

The LeBron-Kobe rivalry and Finals matchup that never was

Mario Williams recognizes Bills may release him

Terrell Owens says Cris Carter 'begged his way' into HOF

QUIZ: Name every WWE Heavyweight Champion

Three NHL players who can cement their legacies like Peyton Manning

Top 11 story lines for the 2016 NFL offseason

Vince Carter: I’ll know when, but I’m not ready to retire

Bill Polian: Peyton Manning could 'immediately' be successful GM

Villanova Wildcats: The quietest No. 1 team ever

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker