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Kings nearly blow huge lead, hold off Blue Jackets

Jan 9, 2011 - 7:29 AM
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Jarret Stoll scored two goals and Jack Johnson collected three assists, as the Los Angeles Kings fended off the Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-4, at Staples Center.

Stoll's second goal -- a short-handed marker -- gave the Kings a seemingly comfortable 4-0 lead at the 7:12 mark of the second period. Columbus responded with three straight goals and closed to within 5-4 late in regulation, but Los Angeles held on to snap a five-game losing streak.

Jonathan Quick made 30 saves in the win.

Johnson, meanwhile, was rewarded after the game with a seven-year contract extension that will keep him in Tinseltown through the 2017-18 campaign.

"That's great for Jack," said Los Angeles head coach Terry Murray. "He's a young guy that's going to be a great player in this game for a long time, so it's great to get him locked up. Those young defensemen are very hard to find, the guys with skill and talent and ability like that."

Rick Nash lit the lamp twice in the third period for the Blue Jackets, who dropped all four games on their road trip. Mathieu Garon stopped 30 shots.

Matt Calvert's first NHL goal on a fortuitous carom ignited the Columbus rally at 13:30 of the middle frame.

Nash lit the lamp 6:47 into the third and Fedor Tyutin fired a wrister behind Quick at 10:58 to draw Columbus within a goal.

Ryan Smyth crashed the crease and slipped a rebound past a prone Garon to give the Kings a 5-3 lead with 3:31 remaining. Nash countered 58 seconds later, but Justin Williams hit the empty-net inside the final minute to secure the win.

"Can't get down to any team 4-0 but I liked the way we battled back," said Columbus head coach Scott Arniel. "We made a game of it and it got close there at the end."

Los Angeles erupted for three goals in the first period.

Dustin Brown put the Kings on the board at 2:13, taking a feed from Anze Kopitar and beating Garon on the glove side. Alec Martinez unloaded a slap shot from the point for a power-play goal at 9:24, then Stoll tapped in Drew Doughty's pass from the left-wing boards at 15:50.

Game Notes

Doughty, Marco Sturm and Michal Handzus each had two assists for Los Angeles...Blue Jackets forward Antoine Vermette played in his 500th career game.