The Los Angeles Kings might have their work cut out for themselves on Tuesday night when they play the Columbus Blue Jackets. Why? Well, believe it or not, but the Columbus Blue Jackets are the hottest team in the National Hockey League.
Columbus has only made the playoffs twice since joining the National Hockey League and have won a remarkable nine straight games, which is tied for the most in franchise history. In order for the Kings to snap the streak, they will have to find a way to beat Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky. The Russian netminder who won the Vezina Trophy in 2013 has a sparkling record of 19-5-2 with a goals against average of 1.94, save percentage of .932 and three shutouts this season.
The Kings are currently in fifth place in the Pacific Division with 34 points. However they still hold down a playoff spot in the Western Conference because they have more points than the fourth place team in the Central Division. The Winnipeg Jets and Nashville Predators are tied for fourth in the Central with 33 points.
The Kings are presently on a nine game road trip. Tonight's game in Columbus is their fifth game of the nine. So far they have a record of two wins and two losses. They beat the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Dec. 15 and the Pittsburgh Penguins 1-0 on Dec. 16. They also lost to the Buffalo Sabres 6-3 on Dec. 13 and the Boston Bruins 1-0 on Dec. 18. Their next home game will not be until New Year's Eve when they host the San Jose Sharks.
The Kings leading scorer at the moment is Jeff Carter. He leads the team with 14 goals and 24 points. Peter Budaj meanwhile has been excellent for the Kings while Jonathan Quick has been out with his groin injury. In 25 starts, Budaj has a record of 14-8-2 with a 2.13 goals against average, .916 save percentage and three shutouts.