Scott Hartnell Logs 1,000th Career Game as Columbus Blue Jackets Take on LA


The Columbus Blue Jackets have put together two of their best results of the season. How do they follow up a 7-1 dominating performance over a St. Louis Blues team who, at the time, was on a 13-game point streak? With a four goal performance in just one period in a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators. Well, tonight, the Blue Jackets will look to continue their roll as the Los Angeles Kings come into Nationwide for their only visit until the Stanley Cup Finals. (Hey, mathematically, there’s still a chance for that to happen.)

Looking at the records of the Jackets and Kings can get a bit confusing, especially if you’re not a huge hockey fan. The Blue Jackets actually have more wins than LA does, but Columbus also has racked up the losses as well, and LA forces extra-hockey a lot more often than the Jackets do, and have found points that way. But, are on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoff race – something the Kings aren’t used to doing over the past several years.

Curtis McElhinney is hot, and I’d be hard-pressed to find a team that’s looking forward to facing him right now. Mac has stopped 66 of the last 68 shots he’s faced, allowing just a goal each to the Blues and Senators over the past couple of days.

The offense has kicked back into gear as well for Columbus, as Nick Foligno logged a hat trick and an assist over the weekend, Ryan Johansen had himself four points as well and Cam Atkinson scored in both games as well. Those who are needing to step up for the Blue Jackets did just that over the weekend, and hopefully they’ll come out ready to defend NWA against some old friends and the defending Cup champs.

Coming into Columbus, the Kings are already out of their element, as they’ve collected just a 6-12-6 record on the road, and if the Blue Jackets can light the lamp first, the Kings will be even more so out of their comfort zone, as they are 7-16-5 after conceding the first goal. There have been better days for the kingdom, as they’ve lost three of their last four, but are coming off a 4-2 win over Tampa Bay.

Is “surging” too strong a word to use for the Blue Jackets? Maybe so, but they’re playing really well right now and have a lot of momentum. With Mac playing well between the pipes, Foligno, Atkinson and Johansen scoring and the emotions of Scott Hartnell’s 1,000th game, it’ll – hopefully – be a night to remember for the Blue Jackets.

Puck drops at 7:00.