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Breakdown: Blues vs. Kings

Sunday, 04.28.2013 / 11:22 AM / St Louis Blues - News
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Breakdown: Blues vs. Kings
Preview of the Blues\' first round playoff series with the Los Angeles Kings.
(5) Los Angeles Kings vs. (4) St. Louis Blues

Records: Kings 27-16-5, Blues 29-17-2

Season series: Los Angeles won 3-0-0 (1-0-0 home; 2-0-0 road)

Playoff history: St. Louis leads 2-1

Last meeting: 2012, Los Angeles won Western Conference Semifinals 4-0

Leading scorers: Anze Kopitar, Kings (10-32-42); Chris Stewart, Blues (18-18-36)

Skinny: The Los Angeles Kings open defense of their Stanley Cup against one of their victims from last spring. But while the Kings finished fifth in the West rather than eighth, as they did last season, they've had their ups and downs -- including a marked difference in the play of goaltender Jonathan Quick at home and on the road. Jeff Carter's 26 goals have given the Kings an offensive spark -- they averaged about half a goal more than they did last season. But Quick's numbers are way down from last season, especially on the road. Including last spring's sweep, the Kings have won eight in a row against the Blues.

St. Louis closed the season on a roll, going 11-2-0 in April behind the goaltending of Brian Elliott, who was 3-6-1 before allowing 16 goals in the Blues' 13 games this month. The Kings shredded him last spring after Jaroslav Halak was injured; he got to play down the stretch because Halak was hurt again. Chris Stewart has bounced back with a career season, but he was one of only three Blues to reach double figures in goals. Alex Pietrangelo is a premier defenseman.

Both teams play a grinding game that figures to limit chances; they are second and third in fewest shots allowed. The winner figures to be the one that gets the better goaltending -- Quick and Elliott both finished with below-average save percentages that belie their goals-against averages.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 ANA 35 22 8 5 101 96 49
2 CHI 34 23 9 2 106 67 48
3 STL 33 21 9 3 100 81 45
4 NSH 31 21 8 2 87 64 44
5 SJS 34 19 11 4 97 87 42
6 WPG 34 17 10 7 83 80 41
7 VAN 32 19 11 2 92 90 40
8 LAK 34 17 11 6 94 84 40
9 CGY 35 17 15 3 100 95 37
10 MIN 31 16 12 3 91 84 35
11 DAL 32 14 13 5 95 109 33
12 COL 33 12 13 8 85 101 32
13 ARI 32 11 17 4 74 104 26
14 EDM 34 7 20 7 74 116 21

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 33 20 17 18 37
K. Shattenkirk 33 5 23 14 28
J. Schwartz 31 11 16 10 27
J. Lehtera 32 8 17 13 25
A. Steen 31 8 13 -1 21
A. Pietrangelo 33 3 17 -10 20
D. Backes 32 8 7 -4 15
P. Stastny 25 7 6 0 13
T. Oshie 25 5 7 2 12
P. Berglund 32 4 7 1 11
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 8 4 1 .931 1.82
J. Allen 11 3 2 .907 2.49

 
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