Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar, Viktor Arvidsson and Carl Grundstrom scored in a 9:04 span of the second period to help the Los Angeles Kings secure a 4-1 win against the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
Pheonix Copley made 30 saves for the Kings (40-20-9, 89 points), who are 7-0-1 in their past eight games and moved a point back of the Vegas Golden Knights for first place in the Pacific Division.
Kirill Marchenko scored for Columbus (21-39-7, 49 points), which is 1-4-1 in its past six games. Daniil Tarasov stopped all 15 shots during his superb first period but was pulled after surrendering four goals on 12 shots in the second period.
Michael Hutchinson replaced Tarasov and stopped all nine shots he faced.
Doughty scored his flashiest goal of the season to give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead at 4:44 of the middle period.
He faked a point shot to get around Lane Pederson, skated into the slot and sent a backhand off Tarasov. The puck bounced in the air and landed in the crease, where Doughty pushed it across the goal line for his fifth of the season.
Kopitar scored off a feed from Quinton Byfield to make it 2-0 at 7:42.
Trevor Moore then fed Arvidsson for a one-timer to make it 3-0 at 12:36.
Grundstrom’s solo effort stretched the lead to 4-0 lead at 13:48 and ended the night for Tarasov. Grundstrom made a move to get away from Pederson in the corner and scored the unassisted goal short-side from the bottom of the right circle.
The Blue Jackets spoiled Copley’s shutout bid when Marchenko scored with a wrist shot from the inside edge of the left circle to make it 4-1 at 4:31 of the third period.
Tarasov, who was making his second consecutive start since he was recalled from Cleveland of the AHL on Friday, was impressive in the scoreless first period, turning away several high-quality scoring chances.
He stopped Phillip Danault on a two-on-one rush at 7:26, used his left skate to kick away Arvidsson’s breakaway attempt at 11:03 and made another sprawling save on Arthur Kaliyev at 17:36.
–Field Level Media