COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 11 (UPI) -- The second hat trick of Anze Kopitar's career Friday brought the Los Angeles Kings a 4-2 victory over Columbus.
Los Angeles began the contest in eighth place in the bunched-up Western Conference playoff race and the win kept the Kings in a strong post-season position. The fading Blue Jackets are 10 points out of a playoff spot.
Kopitar scored the Kings' first three goals and put them in front for good with his second tally, which came on a tip-in with 4:48 to go in the first period. He then produced the only goal of the second stanza to run his season total to 24.
Columbus climbed within a goal on a wrist shot from Derick Brassard with 8:30 to go in regulation but Justin Williams wrapped it up for the Kings with 1:34 to play.
Williams had two assists in helping the Kings win their second straight. LA has collected at least one point in seven of its last nine games (6-2-1).
Jonathan Bernier collected the win by stopping 32-of-34 shots. Steve Mason gave up four goals on 22 shots.