Having already lost the four tests of their swing, the Blue Jackets appeared headed for overtime on Wednesday versus the Kings, until a clock delay helped Los Angeles score the game-winner in the final second of regulation. While bombarding Columbus netminder Curtis Sanford, the Kings' Drew Doughty pounced on a rebound and sent it past Sanford for a power-play goal with four-tenths of a second left.
However, replays showed that the clock had stalled at 1.8 seconds for what appears to be at least a second. The play was reviewed and was allowed to stand, but after the game there were questions from the Blue Jackets about the clock delay.
In the end, it was just another setback for the Blue Jackets, who sit last in the NHL with 32 points. They have lost seven in a row on the road as well as six straight and 17 of their past 21 overall.
"This is hugely disappointing, we thought we were going into overtime with at least one point," Sanford said after making 30 saves. "They controlled the puck at the end, got it on the guy's stick and he made the shot. This one is tough, it's happening too many times this season."
Derek Dorsett and Colton Gillies scored for Columbus, which will have Carter back in the lineup for the first time since he suffered a separated right shoulder versus the Ducks on Jan. 8. Carter missed the past 10 games and has 10 goals and 17 points in 30 contests this year, having also missed time with a fractured right foot and lower-body ailment.
The Ducks rolled to a 7-4 win at home in that meeting, getting a hat trick from Corey Perry as well as two goals from Teemu Selanne. It was Anaheim's third victory in its past four versus Columbus and second in a row at home in this series.
The Ducks have lost two of three since a five-game win streak as they try to get back into the playoff race. They sit tied for 13th in the Western Conference with 45 points, 12 back of a playoff spot.
Anaheim opened a four-game homestand on Wednesday, losing a 6-2 decision to Dallas. The defeat halted the Ducks' six-game winning streak as the host.
"We knew how big this game was and we knew how big this game was going to be," said Sbisa. "Dallas is one of the teams we have to catch. They were ready tonight and we weren't."
Jason Blake is questionable with a foot injury that has held him out of the past two games for the Ducks.