Los Angeles beat the Blues during its run to the Stanley Cup championship last season and swept St. Louis this season.
Coach Ken Hitchcock likes his team's chances. The Blues have won 12 of their last 15 with a mix of stingy goaltending, tight checking and just enough offence.
St. Louis won its last six at home to claim the fourth seed in the Western Conference. The Kings were the first No. 8 seed to win the Cup last year and begin their bid for a repeat as a well-respected No. 5. Game 1 is Tuesday night in St. Louis.
It was a different game in the past, that's for sure. It's not exactly what I was expecting but I think the experience paid off for a lot of our guys that realized what it takes in a Game 7. Realistically the effort we put forward, we might not even had to put 60 [minutes], but we just couldn't get a couple bounces to go our way and we just kept pushing.
— Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby on Washington's play in Game 7 vs. the Islanders