Final

Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Friday, October 27th
Kings0Final
Blue Jackets2
Game 2: Wednesday, January 3rd
Blue Jackets0Final
Kings3
Game 3: Wednesday, March 7th
Kings2Final
OT
Blue Jackets3
Game 4: Saturday, March 17th
Blue Jackets3Final
Kings5

Blue Jackets 3

(28-37-7, 63 pts)

Kings 5

(24-34-14, 62 pts)

10:30 PM ET, March 17, 2007

STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, California

1 2 3 T
CBJ 0 2 13
LA 2 3 05

J. Heward (Kings - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

M. Weaver (Kings - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

G. Platt (Blue Jackets - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

Heward, Blake, Weaver help Kings roll past Jackets

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Most of the Los Angeles Kings' offense came from their defensemen. The way things have been going this season, they aren't too picky about who gets the goals.

Jamie Heward, Lubomir Visnovsky and Mike Weaver scored on the Kings' first seven shots against Brian Boucher, and Rob Blake connected on a power play in a 5-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

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

"When you can get guys scoring from the point, it's nice because it takes some pressure off the forwards," Heward said. "You're not going to get a lot of those kind of games during the season. But anytime they come, it takes pressure off our top lines and they can just concentrate on playing good solid team hockey."

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.

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

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 he took a snap shot from the right point that bounced a few feet in front of Boucher and skipped past his stick.

"When the puck came back to me, it was bouncing all over the place. So I just tried to get it at the net as quick as I could and it bounced just as it got to the net," Heward said. "You'll take those every day, for sure."

Less than 4 1/4 minutes later, Columbus defenseman 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 lying on the ice with a painful hip pointer. Alexander Svitov retaliated against Brown, initiating a fight that earned the Columbus center 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.

"We've been struggling on the power play, and tonight helped out a lot," Weaver said. "When Columbus gets in their zone and they start running around, their wingers come down pretty low. Our forwards were told before the game to get it back to the point and get some shots through. And that's what happened."

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 8 seconds after Weaver finished serving a delay of game penalty.

"I was just thinking about getting back into our zone and playing defense," Weaver said. "I was fortunate that Heward got the puck and we made eye contact. I saw Tollefsen coming, and I knew that if I was able to squeeze by him it was going to be a 2-on-1. I guess being short helped me out there."

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.

"We were in plenty of trouble right away, and that set us back," Platt said. "We kept taking more penalties and giving them more opportunities. They capitalized on it and kept putting us down even further."

Game 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 temporarily 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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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