After a rough finish to November, the Los Angeles Kings have
been tough to beat in December.
The visiting Kings look to continue their success this month and
avoid a fourth straight loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday
Los Angeles (17-10-1) lost seven of eight to conclude November
but improved to 4-0-1 in December with a 5-0 victory at Detroit on
Monday to open a five-game road trip.
Jonathan Quick stopped a career-high 51 shots for his 10th
“It’s great and all to get all of those saves but at the end of
the day, the two points is all that matters,” said Quick, who has a
1.56 goals-against average while winning four of his last five
Quick, however, has posted a 3.91 GAA during the Kings’
three-game skid against St. Louis (14-10-5). He made 22 saves in a
3-1 loss at St. Louis in the teams’ last meeting March 25.
Still, after snapping a three-game road losing streak Monday,
the Kings have a good chance to win consecutive contests away from
home for just the second time this season when facing an
injury-riddled Blues club that has dropped seven of nine
Injuries to defensemen Alex Pietrangelo (upper body) and Roman
Polak (wrist surgery), plus forwards David Perron (concussion),
Andy McDonald (concussion) and T.J. Oshie (broken ankle) continue
to hinder the Blues.
St. Louis also could be without star defenseman Erik Johnson and
forward Vladimir Sobotka after each suffered a lower-body injury
during Wednesday’s 5-2 loss at Detroit.
“It’s kind of what we’ve been going through and something we’ve
got to continue to work through,” Blues forward B.J. Crombeen said
about the rash of injuries. “We’ve got some guys that are ready and
waiting that will step in.”
Jaroslav Halak could be in net again after he made 32 saves
Wednesday. He is 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA versus Los Angeles.
Backup Ty Conklin is 5-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA against the
Though Alex Steen has been held without a point during the
Blues’ three-game winning streak against Los Angeles, the St. Louis
forward has three goals and three assists in his last four
Kings star Anze Kopitar has five goals and three assists this
month, and teammate Drew Doughty – a Norris Trophy finalist last
season – snapped a 10-game point drought with three assists at
“It was obviously pretty frustrating before, not getting many
points, so it was about time,” Doughty told the Kings’ official
website. “I knew it was going to happen eventually. I just had to
stick to my game and play as hard as I could.”
Los Angeles is expected to have defensemen Matt Greene and Rob
Scuderi in the lineup after each left Monday’s game with an
Veteran forward Marco Sturm took part in his first practice
since being acquired by the Kings from Boston on Saturday, but he
is still recovering from a knee injury and likely won’t play until
next week at the earliest.