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Kings no longer perfect at home

Blue Jackets rally in the third period for a 5-3 victory.

November 17, 2010|By Robyn Norwood

One streak ended in San Jose on Monday, when the Sharks halted the Kings' run of six wins in a row.

Others fell Wednesday at Staples Center, where the Kings had been perfect in eight games this season.

With the Kings' defense suddenly not so sturdy, the Columbus Blue Jackets handed the Kings their first home loss, 5-3, after Rick Nash beat Jonathan Quick on the glove side with 3:12 left in the third after going around defenseman Davis Drewiske in the left circle.

Nash added another goal, his eighth, by scoring into an empty net with 39 seconds left after the Kings pulled Quick for an extra attacker.

"It's not a good a feeling when you lose, whether it's at home or on the road,." Kings center Anze Kopitar said.

The score was tied, 3-3, after Columbus answered Justin Williams' goal 1:25 into the third with one by Jared Boll at 3:48.

Williams' goal was his team-leading ninth, and an earlier assist extended his point streak to 11 games. (The last King to record a point in at least 11 consecutive games was Luc Robitaille in 2000, on the way to a 15-game point streak.)

Quick, the Kings' goalie was protecting a run of his own. His seven-game winning streak was still alive after getting a night off when Jonathan Bernier started at San Jose in the 6-3 loss.

"It's disappointing, but we've got to move on to Buffalo," Quick said. "[Nash] made a good shot. You've got to make some timely saves for your team, and I wasn't able to do that."

Columbus — held to one goal in its previous game after scoring eight the game before — didn't struggle to score Wednesday.

"If other teams come in and beat you, you deal with it," Kings Coach Terry Murray said, "but we don't like the way we've played the last couple of games."

The Kings kept their spotless penalty-killing record on home ice intact, killing off a series of power plays, including an early five-on-three opportunity by the Blue Jackets, who have the lowest-rated power play in the NHL.

Still, Columbus got on the board first, when Andrew Murray scored at 7:40 of the first after the Blue Jackets picked off Matt Greene's attempt to get the puck out of the Kings' end.

The Kings tied it, 1-1, on a power-play goal when Michal Handzus found the rebound of Kopitar's point shot alone in the crease and swept it behind goalie Steve Mason at 9:06 of the first. The assist was Kopitar's 18th point in the last 16 games.

But Columbus defenseman Rostislav Klesla put the Blue Jackets ahead again at the 11:22 mark when the Kings were caught flat-footed at the end of their own power-play opportunity, and Klesla scored from between the faceoff circles.

The Kings went in for the final intermission tied after Ryan Smyth scored with 1:22 left in the second, picking up the puck near the right goal post and curling behind the net on his backhand to put it in the net on the other side, tying the score, 2-2.

"We're proud of it," Kopitar said of the broken home streak. "There's still 60-something games left. It's not the end of the season."

Etc.

Kings' defenseman Drew Doughty contributed three assists. … Rookie forward Brayden Schenn's conditioning assignment on loan to Manchester of the American Hockey League became official Wednesday. … Forward Dwight King, a fourth-round pick in 2007, made his NHL debut.

sports@latimes.com

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