THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Rookie defenseman Ryan Murray was skating out of the Blue Jackets’ zone and had already passed the puck when Kings forward Dustin Brown launched himself into an open-ice check, his shoulder hitting Murray’s head and sending him flat on his back.
As Wisniewski came to his defense – he got away with a gloved punch to Brown’s face – Murray rolled over and sprang to his skates. He played two more shifts before leaving the bench for the dressing room at the midpoint of the second period.
He returned two minutes into the third period and finished the game, but will be evaluated again today.
Aaron Portzline: Game 57: Kings Prevail In OT
But the Blue Jackets really lost this game in the first period, when they took a 1-0 lead only 100 seconds into the game and dominated the Kings, pinning them in their own zone and swirling for scoring chances off the forecheck. They outshot the Kings 10-2, and must have outchanced them 6-1.
The chances never turned into goals, though. And the longer the game stayed 1-0, you could feel the slumping, demoralized, goal-starves Kings start to get a little momentum. A rash of Blue Jackets’ penalties didn’t help, either.
SB NATION: THE CANNON
Matt Wagner: Game 57 Recap: *Yawn*
The other story of the night came in the second period, and it’s not nearly as nice: After a choppy start to the middle frame, Ryan Murray was attempting to skate the puck out of his own zone. Two different Kings were already trying to get him off the puck, including a pretty nasty bit of stickwork from Mike Richards, when Dustin Brown came in and dropped the rookie d-man with what looked like an elbow to the head.
Brown would be given a minor for charging, which the Jackets bench was clearly dissatisfied with, but could not get the power play clicking to make the Kings pay on the scoreboard, and LA pretty clearly drew energy from the kill. Murray would not return in the second period, and Columbus was forced to hang on through a pair of penalties and a flurry of late shots, scraping through to hold the lead through 40 minutes.