The Blue Jackets thought they were on to something. With two straight games that matched their stated identity -- a tough loss to Edmonton, a stunning win over San Jose -- the Jackets believed their identity was taking shape. Even this morning, Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards expressed confidence that his club had finally embraced their mission statement.

And then the puck dropped.

The Blue Jackets had trouble generating much in the way of shots or scoring chances against the Los Angeles Kings, finally generating a late rush of momentum that fell short in a 2-1 loss before 18,118 in Staples Center.

"Go back and look at Monday's game. We won a lot of battles," Richards said. "We didn't win a lot of battles tonight. There was more urgency in their game than their was in ours, as far as winning those one-on-one battles in the offensive zone. We were spending more time in our defensive zone, using up our energy and didn't have enough that."

The Blue Jackets generated just 13 shots on goal, three more than the franchise record. It wasn't until the final 80 seconds -- with goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky pulled for an extra skater -- that the Jackets found life in the Kings' zone.

There were some close calls, some nervy moments by the Kings in the final 30 seconds. But by then it was too late for Columbus.