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Blue Jackets top Kings for 4th straight win

Mark Letestu scored a pair of goals, leading 1 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday at Nationwide Arena.

Jack Johnson also scored and Vinny Prospal had a pair of assists for the Blue Jackets, who extended their season-high winning streak to four games.

Steve Mason made 16 saves in the win before leaving the game in the second period with a hand injury. Curtis Sanford came in and stopped all 13 shots he faced.

"We got contributions from everyone tonight," Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards said. "I thought 5-on-5 we were very good, our defense had to log some minutes and even the backup goaltender got involved, so we literally got contributions from everyone."

Anze Kopitar scored the lone goal for the Kings, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Jonathan Bernier was tagged for all three goals on 36 shots in defeat.

Columbus struck first at 9:14 of the opening frame when James Wisniewski took a feed at the right point and fired a low, hard slap shot that was deflected in front by Letestu and it skipped past Bernier to the stick side.

The Kings responded with a shorthanded goal at 12:22 to tie the game.

After a sloppy pass in the neutral zone, Dustin Brown picked off the puck on the left wing and set sail the other way. He backhanded a deft saucer pass for Kopitar, who moved to the slot and backhanded it past Mason.

The Blue Jackets took a 2-1 lead with just 8.5 seconds left in the first period. Derick Brassard gained the blue line with speed and worked his way to the slot before laying a perfect drop pass for Johnson, who walked into a wicked wrist shot that beat Bernier.

Columbus made it 3-1 at 3:07 of the second period after Prospal ripped a shot on net from the left circle that was initially stopped by Bernier, but Letestu was parked in front to ram it home.

Sanford made nine saves in the third period to keep the Kings from getting any closer.

"It was definitely a disappointing start for us," Kings head coach Darryl Sutter said. "Our focus was not to get behind and to try to match their energy early."

Game Notes

Columbus improved to 20-21-3 all-time against Los Angeles, including a 12-8-2 mark at Nationwide Arena...The Kings fell to 9-9-3 this season against Western Conference teams that are not in playoff position...Kings center Jeff Carter played his first game in Columbus since being traded to LA on February 23 for Johnson and was loudly booed every time he touched the puck...Mason suffered a laceration to his left hand while making a save midway though the second period...Columbus went 0-for-5 with the man advantage, while the Kings failed to score on their lone power play chance.