LOS ANGELES (AP)—The power play has been one critical reason why the Los Angeles Kings have gone almost a month between victories.
But Trent Klatt scored twice with the man-advantage to get his teammates another consolation point in the standings.
“If you take a look at the last eight or 10 games, if we’d had a couple more power-play goals, I think we would have had a few more wins and not as many ties,” Klatt said.
The Kings’ 2-2 tie with the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night extended their winless streak to 11 games at 0-3-7-1.
“We’ve got to score goals on our power play—it doesn’t matter who’s out there,” Klatt said. “I just happened to be in the right place at the right time for both of them. But no one person deserves any individual credit there. It was a collective effort by everyone.”
The only other player this season to score two power-play goals in the same game for them was Luc Robitaille, on Nov. 18 in a 4-3 home loss to Boston.
“Our power-play percentage has not been that good thus far,” Kings coach Andy Murray said. “And at our present state, that’s something that’s going to have to improve. So it was good to see pucks going in tonight. It was nice to see Trent Klatt be rewarded for his efforts.”
Roman Cechmanek made 31 saves for the Kings, whose previous victory was Dec. 16 against Edmonton. It’s the franchise’s longest winless drought since a 16-game streak (0-7-9) in 1981-82.
“We have to continue to play harder,” Klatt said. “It’s got to be simple, hard-nosed hockey. We’ve got to get ugly goals, bring our lunch pails, get in the trenches and outwork teams. That’s the only way we’re going to get ourselves out of it.”
“I think we sat back too much in the third period, and they really took it to us,” Columbus captain Luke Richardson said. “When you play like this, you’re lucky to hold on.”
The Blue Jackets didn’t have to face two of their biggest nemeses in Ziggy Palffy (nine goals in 10 games against them) and Adam Deadmarsh (eight goals in 10 games). Palffy is scheduled to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery Monday, and Deadmarsh hasn’t played since Dec. 15 of last season because of post-concussion symptoms.
The Kings also lost left wing Martin Straka when he sprained his left knee on a knee-on-knee hit with Eriksson with about 6 1/2 minutes left in the second period and was helped to the bench by referee Kerry Fraser—while play was continuing.
The Kings, held to a season-low 17 shots in Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Vancouver, pulled even at 16:10 of the second when Klatt tipped in Jaroslav Modry’s slap shot from the left point during a high-sticking penalty against Rostislav Klesla.
The Blue Jackets, 2-for-50 on the power play during a 10-game stretch before connecting twice in Thursday’s 3-2 overtime win at San Jose, opened the scoring just four seconds after Kings forward John Tripp was sent off for high-sticking.
Eriksson got a cross-ice pass from Marchant and one-timed it past Cechmanek from 55 feet in the slot—only the fifth goal scored by a Columbus defenseman this season.
Eriksson’s goal was his first since Oct. 14, 2000, and his 15th in 375 NHL games. He became the sixth player in less than three weeks to end lengthy scoring droughts against the Kings: Anaheim’s Todd Simpson (84 games), San Jose’s Todd Harvey (45), Dallas’ Stu Barnes (18) and Vancouver teammates Brent Sopel (24) and Artem Chubarov (20).
The Kings tied it just 23 seconds before the first intermission, while Duvie Westcott was serving an interference penalty. Derek Armstrong’s slap shot from the left circle struck Klatt, who whipped his 10th goal past Denis just as thepuck landed at his feet.
The Kings were 1-for-22 on the power play over their previous five games, and 7-for-75 in their previous 19 contests. … Columbus is 5-0-1 in its last six games against the Kings. … The Blue Jackets placed C Andrew Cassels on the injured reserve because of a broken foot and recalled D Aaron Johnson from Syracuse of the AHL. … Columbus D Darryl Sydor, who played his first 288 NHL games with the Kings before getting traded to Dallas in February 1996, hassix goals and 15 assists in 37 games against Los Angeles.