FINAL – Kings 4, Blue Jackets 3 (OT) – Danault, Doughty, Gavrikov, McLellan

After an early goal that was called back upon video review, Columbus opened the scoring with a power-play tally midway through the first period. Skating 5-on-4, the Blue Jackets got on the board through forward Kirill Marchenko, who took a feed from defenseman Adam Boqvist and snapped a shot past Kings netminder Pheonix Copley, high on the glove side, for the game’s first goal.

Just over five minutes into the second period, forward Johnny Gaudreau put the hosts ahead by two goals. The Kings turned the puck over at the offensive blueline, on a failed zone entry, which sent Gaudreau the other way with speed down the left wing. The New Jersey native kept it himself and snapped home his fourth goal of the season, high on the glove side, for a 2-0 advantage.

Columbus made it 3-0 past the game’s midway point, as forward Mathieu Olivier scored his first goal of the season. Stationed just outside the crease, Olivier got on the end of a rebound off a shot from defenseman David Jiricek and buried his shot through the fivehole to push the hosts ahead by three goals.

In a span of less than seven minutes, the Kings scored three consecutive goals to tie the game at three apiece.

First, on the first shift of the third period, forward Phillip Danault got the visitors on the board with a deflected effort. Forward Trevor Moore worked the puck to defenseman Matt Roy at the right point, with the latter sending a shot towards the net, redirected by Danault on the way through, past Columbus netminder Elvis Merzlikins to cut the score to 3-1.

Just over five minutes into the third, Danault scored again to bring the Kings to within a goal. Defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov’s shot from the left-hand circle snuck through the five hole of Merzlikins, into the crease, where Danault got the puck over the line after several attempts for his second goal of the game and sixth tally of the season.

Less than 90 seconds later, the Kings pulled level through forward Arthur Kaliyev. Kaliyev drove the net aggressively down the right wing, curled back into the slot and fired a shot, that was saved by Merzlikins, but Kaliyev hopped onto the rebound and slid it into the net from a sharp angle for the game-tying goal. Forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan had the primary assist on the play, with Gavrikov collecting his second point with the secondary helper.

After the remainder of the third period came and went without a goal, the Kings eventually found the game-winning goal in overtime, through defenseman Drew Doughty. Off a won faceoff, the Kings gained possession of the puck and forward Anze Kopitar fed Doughty for a one-timer, which he buried from the left-hand circle for the 4-3 victory.

Hear from Danault, Doughty, Gavrikov and Head Coach Todd McLellan following tonight’s victory.

Phillip Danault
On what he felt changed for the team between the second and third period
Just play harder and better and just play more of out game. We didn’t play well in the first two, maybe it’s because of the time change, but we definitely woke up in the third and that was better. We just took charge. All of us looked in the mirror and we got better.

On scoring three goals from the dirty areas on the ice
Yeah, be more direct. We tried to hit too many seams in the o-zone, and we started being direct and we scored some goals. Guys got tips and we just grinded. Some good shots [from the point] to tip and a great ending by Dewey.

On seeing Vladislav Gavrikov honored during the game by the Columbus fans
He’s a five-star d-man, like I’ve said the since the beginning. He’s been outstanding for us. He’s doing so many good things, it’s crazy, one of the best [defensive] sticks I’ve seen in my life, that’s for sure. To be recognized by the crowd, I’m not surprised.

Drew Doughty
On the importance of puck possession in overtime, leading into his goal
Yeah, it was a good draw, a good battle to get it back to me that’s a big part of the game. The entire 60 minutes, faceoffs are so important and our centers always do a great job, but it’s just a great comeback, that felt amazing. We didn’t have our good stuff for two periods and then we had a great start to the third and just rolled with it.

On what he felt changed for the group between the second and third periods
Well, we did exactly what the coach told us to do, which was get pucks back to the point. They had five down low, get a shot through, guys to the net, get a tip on it, get rebounds, don’t try to score from the top. That’s exactly what we did on that first shift and we just kept doing that for the whole third period.

On the Kings tying the all-time NHL record for consecutive wins to start the season
That’s amazing. I don’t think any of us are too worried about a record, we’re just coming in here to try and win games, but that’s awesome. We love playing on the road. We have a very strong team, we have full belief in every player on our team.

Vladislav Gavrikov
On getting a special moment with the fans in Columbus
Like I said before, that was a special game for me. First time coming back here here and the fans treated me always nicely, I always tried to give it back. That was such a warm welcome, I really appreciated that. All of us having some good memories.

On turning things around during the third period to force overtime
We started playing more direct, tried to put some shots on net and we just got rewarded. So, it wasn’t great for us obviously, the first two periods, that wasn’t our standard, but we could turn the dial up and change momentum.

On getting shots through from the point during the comeback
I should be like that all the time, if you have a chance to shoot it. You don’t have to try to be fancy, sometimes it’s the best option to put it on net and try to find it. It’s not going to work every time, so sometimes you have to find the puck in the crease.

Todd McLellan

Notes –
– Phillip Danault (2-0=2) scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season to record his first two-goal game of the campaign. Danault has now scored five points (3-2=5) in his last five games against Columbus, dating back to March 4, 2022.
– Arthur Kaliyev (1-0=1) notched his sixth goal of the season. He now has three goals and four points (3-1=4) in his last five games.
– Drew Doughty (1-0=1) registered his fifth goal of the season for his second game-winning goal (GWG) of the campaign, the most among Kings blueliners and tied for second-most league-wide among defensemen (K’Andre Miller, 3).
– It marked Doughty’s 32nd career GWG, tying Kris Letang for 22nd-most in NHL history among defensemen.
Doughty has scored goals in back-to-back games for the second time this season (Oct. 27-28, 2023) and now sits three goals shy of 150 in his career.
– Trevor Moore (0-1=1) collected his ninth assist on the year and eighth point (5-3=8) in his last six games. In doing so, Moore extended his season-opening road point streak to 10 games (7-8=15), the longest such run by a Kings player since Rob Blake (10 GP) in 1992-93.
– Vladislav Gavrikov (0-2=2) tallied his fifth and sixth assists of the season for his first multi-point performance of the year in his return to Columbus. Gavrikov becomes the second King’s skater this season to record at least one point in his first game against his former team, joining Pierre-Luc Dubois (1-0=1, Oct. 17, 2023 at WIN).
– Kevin Fiala (0-1=1) recorded his 15th assist of the season, tied for the team lead in the category. Fiala has now scored 12 points (3-9=12) in 10 career games against the Blue Jackets.
– Anze Kopitar (0-1=1) picked up his 11th assist of the season, extending his point streak against the Blue Jackets to three games (3-1=4). Kopitar has now recorded six points (3-3=6) in his last six games against Columbus, dating back to Jan. 6, 2020.
– Adrian Kempe (0-1=1) recorded his 15th assist of the season, tied with Kevin Fiala for the team lead. Kempe has now recorded five assists in his last five games.
– Jaret Anderson-Dolan (0-1=1) and Matt Roy (0-1=1) each picked up helpers.
Pheonix Copley stopped 26-of-29 shots faced to record his fourth win of the season (4-0-2). Copley has now recorded a win in his last three starts and sits six wins shy of 50 in his career (44-15-8).
– Per NHL PR, the LA Kings scored four unanswered goals to stage their first three-goal, third period comeback victory in more than 16 years (Nov. 10, 2007 when Anze Kopitar scored the overtime winner during his second NHL season). It is the eighth such victory in franchise history and first on the road in more than three decades.
– With the win, the Kings improve their road record to 10-0-0 to open the 2023-24 campaign, tying an NHL record for the longest road-win streak to start a season in league history (2006-07 Buffalo Sabres).

The Kings are scheduled to return to the ice fo practice tomorrow at 10 AM Pacific time, 1 PM local time in Montreal.

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