Monday night, the Columbus Blue Jackets looked to open their four-game west coast road trip on a positive note against the struggling Los Angeles Kings.
The Blue Jackets were able to do so, surviving a slow start to beat the Kings on the road by a score of 4-2 at STAPLES Center.
The Kings opened the scoring 90 seconds into the first period with Alex Iafallo knocking a rebound past Elvis Merzlikins after significant time in the Blue Jackets' zone. The period would end with that play as the only score, 1-0 in favor of the Kings.
The second period broke much better for the Blue Jackets. Seven minutes into the frame, Nathan Gerbe opened up the club's scoring. Gerbe, waiting patiently above the left circle, accepted a Gustav Nyquist pass, slammed it on net and past Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick to tie the game, 1-1.
Four minutes later, Scott Harrington continued the scoring with his first goal of the year. Harrington, streaking down the slot, accepted a tremendous pass from Sonny Milano, which he gathered and fired over the pads of Quick for a 2-1 lead.
Five minutes into the third period, Kevin Stenlund added to the Blue Jackets lead. Taking advantage of the space given to him by the Kings' defense, Stenlund ripped a wrist shot from the high slot past Quick to make the score 3-1.
The Kings would bring the score to 3-2 on a Sean Walker goal, however, the Blue Jackets held on to win their first game of the road trip aided by a 4-2 empty-net goal from Gus Nyquist.
Both Emil Bemstrom and Markus Nutivaara were activated off IR and played in tonight's game. The list of Blue Jackets still out with injury is lengthy, but it's believed that Cam Atkinson is closest to returning.
The Blue Jackets continue their four-game Western swing tomorrow against the Anaheim Ducks. Puck drop from Honda Center is scheduled for 10 p.m.
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