LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Kings took a big step toward a playoff berth with a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Phillip Danault scored his career-high 24th goal, and Dustin Brown also scored in the first period.

Los Angeles is in a three-year playoff drought, but its chances of holding off Vegas for the third postseason spot in the Pacific Division improved.

Sean Kuraly scored and Elvis Merzlikins stopped 36 shots for the Blue Jackets, who opened their three-game California road trip by losing in regulation for only the second time in six games.

The Jackets were formally eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the day.