COLUMBUS, Ohio — Remember when the Kings were a wildly successful road team?
That time, most definitely, is not now.
Those days of November and early December seem long ago. They've lost eight of their last nine road games and the latest setback was a sloppy affair, riddled with breakdowns, and their once-formidable defensive structure has gone missing.
Columbus beat the Kings, 5-3, on Tuesday night at
Scoring for the Kings were
Kings rookie goalie Martin Jones has lost his last four starts after winning his first eight. This, however, was his first start since the Kings brought him back from their minor league affiliate in Manchester, N.H., last week after the
This was not his sharpest performance and he let in a particularly bad goal late in the second period. Umberger took the puck from defenseman
"I was just trying to let it go wide and it just hit the bottom of my glove and bounced in there," said Jones, who faced 34 shots.
Said Kings Coach
The Blue Jackets added another goal with 15.6 seconds left in the period, extending the lead to 4-2.
"Right now, what's happened to us, we're doing what bad teams are doing," Kings forward
"We haven't done that lately. We've gotten away from that from it and it's cost us."
They stalled on the power play, going 0 for 3. The Blue Jackets were one for three. On Monday, the Kings gave up a power-play goal and a short-handed to the Bruins.
It sounded as though Sutter had at least contemplated calling up a defenseman from Manchester because the steady
But Sutter did insert two youngsters, left wing Tanner Pearson and center Linden Vey, in the lineup, taking out center
What loomed larger for the Kings were missed defensive assignments. Columbus went up 2-1 at 19:02 of the first period when
"The breakaway goal, which is a play that starts behind their goalie. Jordie's got to have that," Sutter said. "That's a set play for us. Jordan's gotta have that.
"… Kids are kinda hitting the wall a little bit, young guys. Go through it."
Said Columbus defenseman
The Kings' search for their blue-collar roots will resume back on the West Coast. They return to Southern California to play at Anaheim on Thursday, and this trip, which had started so well with a win at St. Louis, took a decided downturn after the blown call in Detroit on Saturday night.
"It got a little bit sloppy the last couple," defenseman
"We're pretty comfortable in those low-scoring games as you guys know."