It figured that two last-place teams that have struggled to score goals would stay true to form when they faced each other Friday.
The only surprise is that the defending Stanley Cup champion Kings were one of those bottom feeders.
Still seeking an offensive rhythm and a place in the top eight in the West, the Kings on Friday took a small step forward with a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets before an announced sellout crowd at Staples Center.
Backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier, starting two games in a row for the first time since January 2011, stopped 12 shots and lost his shutout with 2:35 left in the third, on a backhander by Nick Foligno.
"Sometimes when I don't play much it feels like I get better in the second and third period, but I felt really good from the get-go," Bernier said. "It was another great game by the guys: I think I had two shots in the second, or whatever. When you give up 13 shots, you'd better find a way to win."
It took a while, but the Kings (5-5-2) found a way to win back-to-back games for only the second time this season.
Late in the second period, rugged winger Kyle Clifford swiped the puck from Columbus defenseman Nikita Nikitin at the Kings' blue line and chugged up ice on the left wing on a two-on-one break. Clifford elected to shoot, a decision that was rewarded when the puck eluded goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky at 18:40.
It was Clifford's first goal since the second game of the season and — surprisingly — represented the first time the Kings held a lead in four home games during this lockout-shortened season.
"I'd like to say that's where I wanted to shoot, but sometimes I just close my eyes and put it on net," Clifford said. "We haven't had too many home games. We wanted to get on them early and get going and build off that."
Kings get some momentum
Los Angeles Times | Feb 16