Breakdown: Blues vs. Kings

Sunday, 04.28.2013 / 10:22 AM CT / 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

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STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - ANA 78 49 22 7 227 216 105
2 x - NSH 78 47 22 9 224 193 103
3 STL 76 46 23 7 229 190 99
4 CHI 76 46 24 6 217 176 98
5 MIN 76 44 25 7 219 186 95
6 VAN 77 45 27 5 224 208 95
7 CGY 77 42 28 7 229 204 91
8 WPG 77 39 26 12 217 204 90
9 LAK 76 37 25 14 201 192 88
10 DAL 77 37 30 10 239 248 84
11 SJS 76 37 30 9 212 215 83
12 COL 76 35 29 12 206 213 82
13 EDM 76 23 40 13 185 255 59
14 ARI 77 23 46 8 161 256 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
V. Tarasenko 76 36 35 25 71
A. Steen 73 24 38 6 62
J. Schwartz 69 24 32 12 56
D. Backes 75 25 29 6 54
T. Oshie 67 19 33 13 52
P. Stastny 68 14 29 3 43
A. Pietrangelo 76 6 36 -6 42
J. Lehtera 69 11 29 16 40
K. Shattenkirk 51 8 32 15 40
P. Berglund 71 9 13 -7 22
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
B. Elliott 24 14 3 .919 2.20
J. Allen 19 6 4 .906 2.45

 
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