Patrik Laine tries to stay hot as Blue Jackets host Kings

Patrik Laine tries to stay hot as Blue Jackets host Kings

Patrik Laine will aim to continue his torrid play on Friday when the Columbus Blue Jackets host the Los Angeles Kings.Laine had five multiple-point performances in February en route to being named NHL Third Star of the Month. The 23-year-old forward picked up where he left off in his first game in March, scoring one goal and setting up another in a 4-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.The second player taken in the 2016 NHL Draft has 23 points (14 goals, nine assists) in his past 14 games. But he admitted he was lucky early in the third period, when he scored what proved to be the game-winning goal against the Devils.”I had a lot of speed coming through the neutral zone,” Laine said. “I was planning on shooting. I kind of lost it in my feet for a second or two. I was lucky to get it off. It’s a good thing it went in.”Blue Jackets captain Boone Jenner also had a goal and an assist in the win against New Jersey, boosting his team-leading totals in goals (23) and points (43). He has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in his last 11 games. Jakub Voracek set up two goals on Tuesday, giving him 12 of his team-leading 38 assists in his last dozen games.Columbus has split the first two of its five-game homestand. The Blue Jackets have won three in a row against Los Angeles.The Kings had won five in a row before being blasted 7-0 at home by the Boston Bruins on Monday, then opened a four-game trip by blowing a two-goal lead and losing 4-3 to the Dallas Stars. All four goals by the Stars came in the second period, three of them in the final 5:47.”We lost a 60-minute game in 20 minutes,” said Kings assistant coach Trent Yawney, who ran the bench for the fourth straight game with head coach Todd McLellan in the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol. “And it was mostly self-inflected. We turned the puck over, we took penalties, and they made us pay.”Despite the loss, the Kings are 8-1-2 in their past 11 road games.

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