STAT CHECK: LA Kings at Columbus Blue Jackets

The Kings are back in action later tonight and looking to pick up at least a point for their 10th straight game, having gone 7-0-2 recently.

They’ll be taking on a Columbus team that is just a few points behind them in the Western Conference standings and a group on their own hot streak lately, posting a 8-3-2 mark in the their previous 13 games.

Here are ten things you need to know before the puck drops in a few hours…

* Columbus is 14-13-1 at home this season, Los Angeles 14-13-2 on the road. Both teams have won four of their last five games and seven of their last 10 overall. They also have 15 wins each when outshooting opponents.

* Oh so close – the Kings have scored 70% of their goals on the infamous five-on-five (105 out of 150 total goals), while the Blue Jackets have scored 69% in the same situation (102 out of 148)

* Columbus has played LA twice this season, both games at Staples Center. It took five or more goals to determine the winner each time. The Blue Jackets won the first contest 5-3. The Kings won the rematch 6-4.

* In those two games, Drew Doughty leads all players with five points (five assists). Three players have scored two goals for LA (Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll and Ryan Smyth). Rick Nash has been the top point producer on the Blue Jackets with four goals.

* Nash has 26 goals on the season. That’s seven straight years with 25 or more goals. Can you name the only other current NHL player to also achieve that mark? Answer at the end of this article.

* Speaking of Nash – the Blue Jackets are set to give away this poster of their captain tonight and then a bobblehead the next time the Kings come to town (March 11). Just a friendly little reminder that the Kings need a winger of that magnitude.

* The Kings penalty kill has been outstanding at home this year, ranked third best in the NHL. It hasn’t been nearly as impressive on the road, currently ranked 20th in the league. However, they’ve killed 11 straight penalties and will be facing a Blue Jackets team with the worst home power play percentage (11.0). So, statistically speaking, this should be a game where the Kings look to improve their PK numbers.

* In another similarity, both teams have scored three short handed goals this season.

* Former Oilers captain Ethan Moreau was activated this morning from IR by the Blue Jackets. In 43 career games vs. LA he has 10 points (5g, 5a).

* Most likely opponent for Kevin Westgarth or Kyle Clifford is #40 Jared Boll.  Then again, Clifford tagged up the face of Derek Dorsett in the last game between the two (video here).  Perhaps he’ll want a re-match up.

Play begins just after 4pm PST.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
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RELATED ARTICLES:

Kings Players on Rick Nash

In-depth Interview with Ethan Moreau – talking teammates (Smyth, Stoll, etc.), semi-nude pics, more.

Westgarth Values Life on the Road

Coach Terry Murray Likes What He Sees
Blue Jackets Video Preview of the Game – featuring clips of the Kings practice in Columbus

ANSWER: Besides Rick Nash, the only other current NHL player to score 25 or more goals for seven straight seasons now is Calgary’s Jarome Iginla.

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