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Blue-liners light up the lamp as Kings defeat Blue Jackets 5-3

The Canadian Press
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The Hockey News
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Blue-liners light up the lamp as Kings defeat Blue Jackets 5-3

The Canadian Press
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Jamie Lundmark also scored and Jaroslav Modry had two assists for the Kings, who earned a split of the four-game season series. Mathieu Garon had 31 saves.

The four goals by defencemen was a first this season for the Kings. The only other time that they got as many as three from their blue-liners was Jan. 13 at St. Louis, when Blake scored twice and Mattias Norstrom once in a 6-5 loss.

Geoff Platt had two goals, Rick Nash also scored and Nikolai Zherdev had three assists for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four of their last five games.

The Kings were outshot 11-2 over the first 15 minutes, but scored twice. Heward, who spent two seasons with the Blue Jackets, opened the scoring at 3:14 with his sixth goal. The puck was standing on its side when Heward took a snap shot from the right point that bounced a few feet in front of Boucher and skipped past his stick.

Less than 4¼ minutes later, Columbus defenceman Rostislav Klesla was attempting to carry the puck out of his own end along the right boards when he received a hard but clean check from Dustin Brown that left him with an apparent hip injury. Alexander Svitov retaliated against Brown, initiating a fight that earned the Columbus centre 19 minutes in penalties - including a double-minor.

Klesla, who was still prone on the ice during the brawl, had to be helped off by Zherdev and teammate Anders Eriksson. The Kings ended up with a two-man advantage because of Marc Methot's earlier slashing penalty, and Visnovsky capitalized just 24 seconds into the power play with a 35-foot slap shot from the slot that beat Boucher between the pads.

Weaver chased Boucher to the bench at 4:16 of the second period, shrugging off a stiff check along the right boards from Ole-Kristian Tollefsen at the Columbus blue-line and beating Boucher to the glove side with a short wrist shot inside the near post. The goal came just eight seconds after Weaver finished serving a delay of game penalty.

Blake made it 4-0, beating Fredrik Norrena to the glove side with a screened one-timer from 45 feet in the slot at 13:35 of the second. Blake's 13th goal came with one second left on Aaron Johnson's cross-checking penalty.

Notes: The Blue Jackets, who set a modern-day NHL record for shutout losses on Friday at San Jose with their 15th of the season, came in averaging a league-worst 2.41 goals. ... Columbus C Gilbert Brule left the game after getting hit in the helmet by Johnson's deflected slap shot from the left point with 18:06 to play. ... The Kings, who have three home games remaining, have yet to be shut out at Staples Center this season. The last time they went an entire season without getting blanked on home ice was 1995-96, Wayne Gretzky's final season with the team. ... Platt scored his first NHL goal against the Kings on March 7 in a 3-2 overtime win at Columbus.

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Blue-liners light up the lamp as Kings defeat Blue Jackets 5-3