Kings-Blues Preview


The St. Louis Blues are on the cusp of their longest home win streak of the season, and the next opponent to visit Scottrade Center suffered a lopsided defeat there earlier this month.

The Los Angeles Kings will be playing their first road game since that loss as they look to snap a five-game skid away from home Thursday night.

The Blues (32-8-5) are 10-1-1 in their last 12 and bounced back from having their seven-game winning streak ended by defeating Phoenix 2-1 on Tuesday. T.J. Oshie scored twice and Jaroslav Halak stopped 20 shots in the team's fifth consecutive home win.

"I think we're getting a lot more of what we deserve. There's been different performances by guys stepping up. That tends to be a good formula for winning," captain David Backes said.

St. Louis can match its longest home win streak from last season if it can duplicate its performance of Jan. 2, when it beat the Kings 5-0. Oshie also had two goals in that game and Brian Elliott made 30 saves.

The win was only the fourth for the Blues in the last 19 matchups with Los Angeles (28-14-5), including two playoff series. The five-game road slide was also the longest overall losing streak of the season for the Kings (28-14-5).

Los Angeles is 3-1-1 since that skid, thanks in large part to the return of star goaltender Jonathan Quick, who helped it survive a penalty-filled game against Vancouver for a 1-0 win Monday. He made 28 saves for his second shutout of the season and Dustin Brown scored early in the third period.

Quick has started the last five games since returning from a strained groin, posting a 1.39 goals-against average. He's 12-3-0 with a 1.33 GAA in his last 15 matchups with St. Louis, including 10 in the postseason.

"He's done a great job for us all year," forward Kyle Clifford said. "It's just good to have him back there. It's a great confidence for our team."

Los Angeles plays its next five on the road before facing Anaheim at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25. The Kings will play two more road games after that, not returning to Staples Center until Jan. 30 in part because of the Grammy Awards on Jan. 26.

That could prove to be a damaging stretch if the Kings can't get on track away from home. Los Angeles has totaled five goals during its road slide.

"We get to play teams like St. Louis, Boston, Detroit. Those are teams we just finished playing," coach Darryl Sutter said. "St. Louis beat us 5-0 so we have to get a touchdown early on them."

The Kings won their first meeting with St. Louis this season, 3-2 on Dec. 2 as Tyler Toffoli scored a pair of goals.

Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo, who has two goals and seven assists during a six-game point streak, has one goal and four assists in his last four regular-season contests against Los Angeles. Vladimir Tarasenko has four goals and one assist in his past three such matchups.

What to Read Next