Game Preview: Blue Jackets Look to Maintain Their California Momentum Against the Struggling Kings

By Paul Berthelot on November 3, 2018 at 7:30 am
Alexander Wennberg facing off against the Los Angeles Kings

Gary A. Vasquez – USA TODAY Sports

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The Columbus Blue Jackets could not have started off their California road trip any better. The San Jose Sharks are a Stanley Cup contending team with one of the best defense groups in the league. The Blue Jackets didn’t play a great game, but they used their speed and kind of caught the Sharks off guard in a 4-1 win.

They need to continue with that style of play and use their speed as they take on the Kings in Los Angeles. The Kings are a veteran team who added Ilya Kovalchuk to help their offense. However, the Kings' offense has been dreadful to start the season, their 24 goals for are last in the league. Their -20 goal differential is worst in the league.

It’s cliché but the Blue Jackets need to get off to a fast start. They can’t let the Kings the lull them they need to keep playing fast and aggressive.

Sergei Bobrovsky who was excellent on Thursday, is expected to be back in the net tonight at STAPLES Center.


PROJECTED LINES

Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson

Duclair – Wennberg – Bjorkstrand

Foligno – Jenner – Anderson

Sedlak – Nash – Hannikainen

DEFENSEMEN

Werenski – Jones

Murray – Nutivaara

Harrington – Savard

GOALTENDER

Bobrovsky

STORYLINES

  • He’s back. One of the most dominant scorers this side of Alex Ovechkin is back in the NHL in Ilya Kovalchuk. The seven time 40-goal scorer and two time 50-goal scorer has been as good as expected thus far in the season. He has four goals and leads the Kings with 10 points. The Blue Jackets need to keep him check to win this game.
  • Goaltending. The Blue Jackets know how important goaltending is to a franchise. The Kings franchise goalie Jonathan Quick is on the shelf indefinitely after knee surgery. Backup Jack Campbell has not been very good as a replacement; his .906 save percentage is below average, so the Blue Jackets need to challenge him early and often.

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