Red-hot Blue Jackets clash with Kings

12:01 PM, Jan 21, 2014   |    comments
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( - The Columbus Blue Jackets have used a franchise record- tying win streak to vault themselves into the thick of the playoff picture.

The Blue Jackets resume that push on Tuesday night aiming for a seventh victory in a row as they play host to the Los Angeles Kings.

Columbus enters this matchup having won six straight, matching the previous club mark set from March 24-April 3, 2006. It has also put the Jackets into a tie for the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference and they sit only four points back of Philadelphia for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

"It's an accomplishment, but we can't be satisfied with it," said Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards. "It's something at the end of the season to look at years from now if it remains or hopefully we can grow it and continue to build on it. Right now for me, it's just a stat. We've done a good job pointing ourselves back in the fight."

Columbus had to fight for two points last time out, beating the Buffalo Sabres 4-3 in a shootout. Ryan Johansen tallied the lone marker of the tiebreaker and Sergei Bobrovsky stopped all three skaters he faced to improve to 3-0 in shootouts this season.

Brandon Dubinsky had a power-play goal and added an assist, while David Savard and Matt Calvert lit the lamp.

"We didn't play our best game, but we played a solid game," Johansen said. "They're a pretty good team over there and they played us hard. You've got to give them credit too. But our guys stuck with it and found a way."

Bobrovsky, meanwhile, made 26 saves and has won all five of his starts since coming back from a 12-game absence caused by a strained groin. He has won seven in a row dating back to late November, posting a 1.59 goals against average and .947 save percentage.

However, the Russian netminder has lost all three of his previous career starts versus the Kings despite a solid 1.70 GAA.

Columbus, which plays three straight and six of its next seven at home, is likely to have defenseman Fedor Tyutin back in the lineup after he missed the previous two games due to illness.

Los Angeles comes into Ohio having gone 1-1-1 on a five-game road trip, picking up that regulation loss on Monday with a 3-2 setback in Boston. Willie Mitchell and Jeff Carter had the goals for the Kings, while Jonathan Quick made 20 saves on the same day he was named one of the league's Three Stars for last week after going 2-0-1 with a 0.97 GAA and .967 save percentage.

"It wasn't his fault," Kings center Anze Kopitar said of Quick. "I mean, we gave up a short-handed goal and gave up a power-play goal. I don't think there was any connection to Quick back there."

While Mitchell scored his first goal since March 28, 2012, Carter lit the lamp for a third straight contest.

Carter, who played in 39 games with Columbus in 2011-12 before getting traded to Los Angeles during the season, has 12 goals and 20 points over his last 19 games.

Quick is 10-5-0 with a 2.00 GAA and two shutouts in 15 career meetings with the Blue Jackets, while rookie backup Martin Jones has never faced them as the clubs are set to meet for the first time this season.

The Kings swept all three matchups last season and have won 11 of the previous 14 encounters overall as well as five of the past six played in Columbus.

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