Mike Richards provided late insurance with his first goal of the season and Jonathan Quick stopped 18 shots to lead the Los Angeles Kings over the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Anze Kopitar, Jeff Carter and Slava Voynov also scored while Justin Williams had three assists for the reigning Stanley Cup champions, who began the night 14th in the Western Conference with six points — two more than last-place Calgary and one fewer than Columbus.
Richards also had an assist and Quick made several big stops in the first and third periods. Columbus managed just two shots on goal in the middle period.
Derick Brassard and Dereck MacKenzie had the Blue Jackets' goals.
Hanging onto a 3-2 lead early in the third period, the Kings had to kill off a double-minor when Carter, a vilified ex-Blue Jacket who was booed every time he touched the puck, was called for a high stick that bloodied Vinny Prospal's lip. The Kings limited Columbus to only one shot over the 4 minutes.
Moments later, Quick got most of his glove on a wicked shot by Derek Dorsett, batting it away midway through the period.
Los Angeles then ended the suspense when Williams collected his third assist on a shot that trickled between the leg pads of goalie Steve Mason — with Richards right there in the crease to jam it home for a two-goal lead.
The Kings came into the second period down 1-0 and completely dominated. They outshot the Blue Jackets 17-2 while scoring three goals.
Just 32 seconds in, Kopitar took a stretch pass from Williams, corralled the bouncing puck and got enough on a backhander to tuck the puck under Mason's left arm for his third of the year.
After Prospal went to the penalty box for interference, the Kings took a brief lead when Carter's blind centering pass, intended for Kopitar, instead glanced off defenseman Fedor Tyutin's skate for a power-play goal.
Nick Foligno helped the Blue Jackets pull even after stealing a puck in the offensive zone. He fed rookie Tim Erixon, called up because of several injuries on the Columbus blue line, who slid a pass to Brassard in the slot. He whipped the puck past Quick with a spinning backhander.
It was Erixon's third point in 21 career NHL games.
Voynov, who had a first-period goal disallowed, finally got on the board with a drive from the top of the right circle. Williams provided some congestion in front of the net and the puck zipped right past Mason.
Midway through the first period it appeared the Kings had gotten on the board first but referee Stephen Walkom immediately waved off the goal. Voynov's shot from just inside the blue line was deflected past Mason, who had Kopitar right in his face while being shadowed by Tyutin. It was ruled Kopitar had incidental contact with Mason.
At the 13:02 mark of the period, Mark Letestu carried the puck into the offensive zone and passed to Tyutin, who saucered a pass to MacKenzie, who had gotten behind defenseman Rob Scuderi. The puck went in off MacKenzie's left skate and past Quick for his first of the season.
The goal marked the first time the Blue Jackets led after one period this season.
NOTES: Ds Cody Goloubef and Nick Holden, recalled from the minors this week, made their season debuts for Columbus because of injuries on the blue line. Goloubef had 6 minutes of NHL experience coming in, Holden five games. ... The Kings have won nine of the last 12 meetings with the Blue Jackets, including five of the last six in Columbus.