Visiting STAPLES Center on Thursday Night for a change wasn’t the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets. It was a hard fought game against the playoff contending Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus is currently the proud holder of the 8th and final playoff spot in the West, 2 points clear of Dallas and Detroit. That’s a seed that the Kings reminisce over fondly, but would not trade their position in the standings for, nor trade the result of their 2-1 win.
After the win, the Kings sit 6 points clear of the Blue Jackets in 4th place in the conference, but have the same points total as Vancouver and San Jose above and below them in the conference–55. But 4th is still a whopping 15 points behind NHL leaders Chicago.
Columbus was beaten, but when the buzzer sounded they didn’t give surprisingly. The typically doormat team started a scrum behind Jonathan Quick’s net. It wasn’t a fight because everyone on the ice became involved. It wasn’t a brawl either because no real punches were thrown. It was a lot of pushing and face washes up along the boards. And it was a little more than a skirmish, or dust-up, so I would consider it a scrum.
Robin Regehr was the initial King in the fray, before each player absolved of their game-playing responsibility when the final buzzer sounded came in to help or hurt someone on the ice.
Drew Doughty was the 4th person involved and came skating into rescue his knew skating partner and escalate the scrum, but was ultimately subdued to the ground rather easily by Brandon Dubinsky. Jonathan Quick stood his ground, and Trevor Lewis came over to stick up for his goalie and his subdued buddy, Doughty.
It was eerie to see the Blue Jackets as neither doormats after their defeat nor in the closely competitive game. Kyle Clifford scored the game winner on a rebound through heavy traffic, shortly after Columbus tied the game in the second period. This was Clifford’s first goal in 17 games, a much needed shake of that scoring drought.
The Kings got their desired 2 points, but also got Matt Greene back for the first time all season. One of the Kings leaders notched 16 minutes of ice time paired with rookie Jake Muzzin, as Keaton Ellerby sat in the stead of Greene. The first time 2013-er was not especially sharp, as he picked up a penalty for tripping in the third period, and was onthe ice for Columbus only goal.
The defense has played very well this year considering the injuries and young players, but it is comforting to have 2 points and 1 Matt Greene back in the lineup.