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

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
6 x - MIN 82 46 28 8 227 198 100
7 x - WPG 82 43 26 13 223 204 99
8 x - CGY 82 45 30 7 237 213 97
9 LAK 82 40 27 15 218 197 95
10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Shattenkirk 6 0 8 2 8
V. Tarasenko 6 6 1 -4 7
P. Berglund 6 2 2 4 4
A. Steen 6 1 3 -3 4
J. Schwartz 6 1 2 -2 3
D. Backes 6 1 1 2 2
T. Oshie 6 1 1 -3 2
J. Lehtera 5 0 2 -2 2
A. Pietrangelo 6 0 2 1 2
R. Reaves 6 1 0 1 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Allen 2 4 0 .904 2.20
B. Elliott 0 0 0 .857 2.31

 
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