Kings winger Dustin Brown (23) looks to carry the puck past Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo (27). (Photo courtesy: Jeff Curry, USA TODAY Sports)
10/24: Blues/Kings, 7pm CT, Enterprise Center
ST. LOUIS, MO – The St. Louis Blues (4-2-3) wrap up a four-game homestand tonight with a matchup against the Los Angeles Kings (4-5-0). After dropping four straight, the Blues got a big comeback win against the Avalanche and look to round out the homestand 2-1-1. Schenn, Perron, and Tarasenko all found the back of the net as they finished off one of the hottest teams in hockey 3-1. “That was probably our best game of the year throughout the entire game,” captain Alex Pietrangelo commented. “I thought we played really well; everybody skated well, good energy. That’s what we we’re looking for.”
The Kings got two big wins against Western Conference opponents after getting shut out in two straight games. “The team did a great job of just trying to prevent as much as possible… hats off to the way they played in the neutral zone and in our own end, keeping [Calgary] out of our end as much as possible,” Jonathan Quick told NHL.com. Anze Kopitar, who netted the game-winner on Tuesday against Winnipeg, leads his team in points with 4G and 6A.
The Blues and Kings meet for the first of three matchups this season at 7pm CT at Enterprise Center. The Blues went 1-2-0 against L.A. last year but won against them on March 7, en route to their 11-game winning streak. Sammy Blais’ status for tonight’s game is still uncertain, after sustaining a minor injury against Colorado.
The Kings are on a slow rebuild to get their team young again after winning two Cups in 2012 and 2014. They have the oldest roster in the NHL, with an average age of over 30 years old.
The Kings still have one of the best defenseman in the league in Drew Doughty, but the Kings are looking desperately for scoring after being 30th in goals-for last season. Jake Muzzin was traded to Toronto last season, and rumors have been spreading like wildfire about goaltender Jonathan Quick possibly being moved.
There are some shining lights for the youth, however: Austin Wagner and Michael Amadio have shown a lot of promise early in the season, both with 2 goals in 9 games. Of course, we can’t forget Adrian Kempe, who broke out in his sophomore season in 2017-18 with 16 goals and 37 points.
Low Power (Play)
The Blues have still been struggling on the man advantage. Early in the season they had two powerplay goals in their first five games, but similarly had two shorthanded goals scored against them. In their last four games they are 14% with 2 goals on 14 opportunities. There have been flashes of improvement with shaken up lines and the team brushing aside the “four forwards” strategy.
Defensive pairings could prove a big boost for the powerplay. For instance, a Justin Faulk pairing with Vince Dunn would be an interesting experiment. Dunn’s strongest suit is his blue-line containment in the offensive zone, while Faulk has been lauded as the setup man on the power play (i.e. Perron goal sequence against COL).
Having a solid defensive pairing holding the blue line while the forwards work down low is something that could gel with the Blues slower, more methodical play style on the man advantage.
Tarasenko has a 5-game point streak with three goals and five assists.
Justin Faulk has four powerplay goals in his last seven games against L.A.
Brayden Schenn is approaching his 600th career NHL game.
David Perron is 3 points away from 500 in his career and 300 as a Blue.
The Blues and Kings face off tonight at 8pm ET in Enterprise Center. To follow all the action for tonight’s game, tune in to:
STL: FSMW, ESPN 101.1, Fox Sports GO, NHL.com
LAK: FSW, KABC 790, Fox Sports GO, NHL.com
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