Los Angeles (24-20-1) at St. Louis (21-17-6)

Fair Currently: St. Louis, MO
Temp: 43° F
  • Game info: 8:00 pm EST Tue Jan 18, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Wins have been hard to come by lately for the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings.

If not for a meeting in Los Angeles last week, the Blues would still be seeking their first victory of 2011.

St. Louis, loser of six of seven, hosts a Kings team trying to avoid losing for the ninth time in 11 games Tuesday night.

After closing 2010 with five straight wins, the Blues (21-17-6) got off to a rough start to the new year, opening January with five consecutive losses before beating Los Angeles 3-1 last Thursday.

Ryan Reaves(notes) broke a 1-all tie late in the second period with his second NHL goal, while B.J. Crombeen(notes) and Alexander Steen also scored for St. Louis, which allowed an average of 4.6 goals during its skid.

The Blues were unable to build on that victory, falling 4-2 at San Jose on Saturday. St. Louis took an early lead with Crombeen’s fifth goal of the season, and later tied the score at 2 on Erik Johnson’s(notes) goal at 17:53 of the second period, but the Sharks scored two unanswered goals in the third.

Poor special teams once again hurt the Blues, who failed on two chances with the man advantage and allowed San Jose to convert 2 of its 5 power-play opportunities.

St. Louis is 1 for 19 on the power play in its last seven games, and has allowed five power-play goals in its last three contests.

“Our special teams need to help our team,” said Steen, who leads the Blues with 15 goals.

The Kings (24-20-1) arrive in St. Louis following Monday’s 2-1 loss to Dallas, their eighth defeat in 10 games.

Justin Williams(notes) opened the scoring with his 17th goal at 7:30 of the first period, and Los Angeles had a chance to tie the score late but Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen(notes) made a sliding pad save on Jack Johnson’s(notes) penalty shot with 52.4 seconds left.

“It’s a guessing game on both parts,” Johnson said. “Sometimes you’re a winner, sometimes you’re a loser. I thought I made a good move at him, but he made a better save.”

Backup Jonathan Bernier(notes) made 25 saves in a bit of a surprise start for Los Angeles, and could be in net again following his decent performance. Bernier was making back-to-back starts for the first time all season after stopping 24 shots in Saturday’s 5-2 win over Edmonton.

Starting goalie Jonathan Quick’s(notes) ongoing struggles might also factor into coach Terry Murray’s decision of who to start.

Quick, who opened this season 10-1-0 with a 1.53 goals-against average, is 1-5-0 with a 3.75 GAA in his last seven games. He hasn’t played since making 18 saves in the loss to the Blues last week.

Quick has been between the pipes for the Kings’ last five games against St. Louis, losing each while compiling a 3.96 GAA.

Los Angeles, which hasn’t defeated the Blues since Oct. 10, 2009, has also dropped seven of the last nine meetings in St. Louis.

St. Louis goalie Jaroslav Halak(notes) made 24 saves in Los Angeles last Thursday, improving to 3-0-0 with a 1.67 lifetime GAA versus the Kings.

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Tuesday, Jan 18