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Kings Power Play Win Comes with Some Controversy

This is what the Kings and Kings' fans hope to see a lot at the STAPLES Center this season. (LAist/Jimmy Bramlett)
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That was as close to a walk-off in regulation for the Kings in their 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at home. As the final seconds were ticking off ready to send the game to the inevitable overtime period, Drew Doughty got the fortunate bounce during a power-play and shot the puck past Columbus goaltender Curtis Sanford as the clock hit 0.7 remaining.

“I haven’t really scored very many game winners,” Doughty said. “It was a good feeling for me, but I’m just happy we won the game.”

The goal was not without controversy as Columbus contended that the clock briefly stopped at 1.8 seconds which allowed Doughty to get off the shot.

“Watching the replay and talking with our producer who runs our show, the clock stopped at 1.8 second, and it stopped for 1.5 seconds,” Columbus head coach Todd Richards said. “They scored with 0.5 seconds. Something happened and it’s really disappointing because I thought our guys battled and worked hard.”

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For the record, the official time of the goal came with 0.7 seconds remaining in the game. Here is the overhead shot of the goal with the official game clock in the corner. You be the judge.

For a team that came into the game with the 23rd-ranked power-play in the NHL, the Kings really had to rely on the power-play to pull the win out over the worst team in the NHL who just came off a humiliating 6-0 loss in San Jose Tuesday night. In the first period Doughty fed the puck to Justin Williams who shot from the left circle at 8:40 to give the Kings the 1-0 lead.

But really the Kings laid an egg in their first game in nine days thanks to the All Star Break. The first sign was Columbus’ first goal in the second period with the Blue Jackets crashing the crease. A couple of rebounds later Derek Dorsett just slipped the puck past a diving Doughty filling in the vacated net just a minute in.

“We didn’t play our best,” Doughty said. “I thought we did an all right job in the first period. A little slow in the second and third.”

To add insult to injury Colton Gillies recorded his first goal since April 10, 2010 thanks to the Kings chasing the puck around their zone early in the third period.

“[Antoine] Vermette made a great pass to me and that is something I will always remember,” Gillies said.

If not for the play of Dustin Penner, that goal would have given Columbus the lead. Late in the second period Penner took advantage of shoddy puck handling by RJ Umberger at the Columbus blue line as he tried to clear the puck. From there Penner zipped through and shot over the splayed Aaron Johnson’s block attempt for perhaps his prettiest goal as a King putting them up 2-1.

Kings’ head coach summed up the game perfectly. “We were real average.”

As the Kings head off on the Grammy’s road trip, they can’t afford to be average.

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They also can’t afford to have a game like the Ducks had in Anaheim losing to the Dallas Stars 6-2. The game was so ugly it wasn’t even shown on the televisions in the STAPLES Center press box.

And something that deserves a lot more space than I’m giving it right now, the Clippers got their first win in Utah since January 22, 2003 downing the Jazz 107-105. More on that tomorrow night.

Denver Nuggets at LA Clippers. 7:30 p.m. TNT, AM 980 KFWB.

College Basketball
UCLA Bruins at Washington Huskies. 6:00 p.m. ESPN, AM 570 KLAC.
USC Trojans at Washington State Cougars. 7:05 p.m. AM 710 KSPN.
UCSB Gauchos at Cal State Northridge Matadors. 7:05 p.m.
Cal Poly Mustangs at Cal State Fullerton Titans. 7:05 p.m.
Pepperdine Waves at LMU Lions. 7:30 p.m. FS Prime Ticket.
UC Davis Aggies at UC Irvine Anteaters. 7:30 p.m.