The Kings flew back to Los Angeles on Tuesday night after completing a 4-0-0 road trip with a 4-2 victory at Nashville. Their next task is to continue that success now that they're home again.
L.A. starts a five-game homestand by hosting St. Louis at 10:30 p.m. ET in one of 11 games on a busy Thursday night schedule in the NHL. But while they Kings have won five in a row on the road, they dropped their last two home games before the trip -- and they're just 12-11-2 at the Staples Center after winning their first eight at home.
Thursday's action starts with a pair of games at 7 p.m. ET. Atlanta, which rallied from a 3-0 deficit to win 5-4 in overtime at Philadelphia, hosts the Flyers in a rematch. The Thrashers are back home after a 4-2 loss at New Jersey on Tuesday, the same night the Flyers opened a three-game trip with a 3-2 win at Florida. Also at 7, Central Division-leading Detroit visits Columbus, a 3-2 shootout loser to Boston on Tuesday.
Three more games face off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Tampa Bay continues its swing through Eastern Canada with a stop in Montreal, where the Canadiens will try to bounce back from Tuesday's 4-2 loss to Washington. Tampa Bay had two days off after a 6-2 win at Toronto on Monday. The game will be shown in Canada on RDS. Also, New Jersey tries to extend its second-half surge when it visits Ottawa, a 5-1 loser at home to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, and Toronto visits Florida.
Boston continues a road trip with a rare visit to Nashville for a game that starts at 8 p.m. ET. A half-hour later, Chicago is at Dallas, trying to build on Monday's 6-3 win against San Jose. The Stars lost 6-3 to the Sharks at home on Tuesday.
Both Alberta teams are home for 9 p.m. ET starts. Phoenix, a 4-3 winner at Calgary on Tuesday, moves on to Edmonton, while the Flames try to snap a three-game losing streak when Colorado comes to the Scotiabank Saddledome.
In addition to the Blues-Kings game, Minnesota and San Jose also play at 10:30. The Sharks are back home after splitting two road games; the Wild is trying to avoid going 0-for-4 on their road trip after losing 4-2 at Vancouver on Monday.
The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.
— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres