Game 12 Preview: Columbus at Los Angeles - LA Kings Insider

This is the second of three meetings between Los Angeles and Columbus this season. On February 5, the Kings defeated the Blue Jackets 4-2 at Nationwide Arena. After tonight, the two teams will meet at Staples Center on Thursday, April 18.

Lots more after the jump…

Since the teams last played, Los Angeles is 1-2-0 and Columbus is 1-1-1. In the Blue Jackets’ most recent game, they defeated San Jose 6-2 in Columbus on Monday behind points from 14 different skaters, including a two-point, first star performance from Brandon Dubinsky, who scored 43 seconds into the game. In the game against the Kings, Dubinsky was fined $10,000 but not suspended for his boarding major on defenseman Rob Scuderi.

This marks the teams’ first game at Staples Center since a 3-2 Los Angeles win on February 1, the infamous “clock-gate” game in which Drew Doughty scored the game-winner immediately before the buzzer. Former King Jack Johnson will make his first appearance at Staples Center since the February 23, 2012 trade that brought Jeff Carter to Los Angeles.

Jonathan Bernier is expected to draw his second consecutive start for the Kings. He has appeared in two games against the Blue Jackets in his career. On March 8, 2012 he stopped 33 of 36 shots in a 3-1 loss to Columbus; his win occurred on March 11, 2011, when he stopped 32 of 34 shots. Both games took place at Nationwide Arena. On the season, Bernier is 1-1-0 with a 2.65 goals against average and .884 save percentage.

Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to start for the Blue Jackets. His one career start against Los Angeles came as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers on February 13, 2011, when Drew Doughty’s second period goal stood up as the game’s only tally in a 1-0 Kings win at the Wells Fargo Center. Bobrovsky is winless in his last three starts and is 2-3-2 with a 2.98 GAA and .896 Sv% on the season.

James Wisniewski, who had appeared in two games after suffering a concussion from a violent collision with the end boards on February 2, remains in Ohio for the birth of his first child, per Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. Adrian Aucoin, who has been held out of games since January 29 due to a lower-body injury, is expected to return and slot alongside Johnson.

Friday’s game is the first of a six-game road trip for the Blue Jackets, which equals the team’s longest trip of the season.

Rankings and Statistics:
Goals/Game: LAK – 24 / 2.27; CBJ – t-25 / 2.23
Goals Against/Game: LAK – 20 / 2.82; CBJ – 23 / 3.08
Power Play: LAK – 27 / 11.8%; CBJ – 23 / 15.2%
Penalty Kill: LAK – 20 / 79.6%; CBJ – 9 / 83.7%
Shots/Game: LAK – t-9 / 30.1; CBJ – 21 / 28.5
Shots Against/Game: LAK – 2 / 24.9; CBJ – 20 / 29.4
Faceoffs: LAK – t-22 / 48.8%; CBJ – 18 / 49.1%

Projected Lines – Los Angeles

Simon Gagne – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford – Jeff Carter – Justin Williams
Dwight King – Mike Richards – Jordan Nolan
Dustin Penner – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis

Keaton Ellerby – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Jake Muzzin – Davis Drewiske

Jonathan Bernier
Jonathan Quick

Notes: Jonathan Bernier will draw back to back starts for the first time since January 15 and 17, 2011. Dustin Penner had an assist and drew 11:41 of ice time in Monday’s 4-1 win in St. Louis. Jake Muzzin will draw back into the lineup for the first time since last Thursday’s 3-0 loss in Nashville. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Projected Lines – Columbus

Vinny Prospal – Artem Anisimov – Mark Letestu
R.J. Umberger – Derick Brassard – Derek Dorsett
Matt Calvert – Brandon Dubinsky – Nick Foligno
Colton Gillies – Derek MacKenzie – Jared Boll

Jack Johnson – Adrian Aucoin
Fedor Tyutin – Nikita Nikitin
Tim Erixon – Cody Goloubef

Sergei Bobrovsky
Steve Mason

Notes: The only potential change to this lineup would be the addition of John Moore, who has been out since February 2 with a lower body injury but is nearing a return. Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch is reporting that Moore will be scratched. Cam Atkinson remains out with a high ankle spain. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.