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Banged-Up Blues Prepare for Kings

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

UPDATE (Jan. 9, 7:07 p.m. CT): Blues General Manager Doug Armstrong said Paul Stastny, Jay Bouwmeester and Jake Allen have been ruled out for tonight's game vs. Los Angeles and will be evaluated by the medical staff on Monday in St. Louis. Any injury updates will be provided at that time.

LOS ANGELES - The Blues had a two-goal lead slip away Friday night in Anaheim, but it was anything but the same-old story.

Down three players to injury, the Blues put in a physical, gutsy effort to earn a point in a 4-3 shootout loss to the Ducks at Honda Center.

“Both teams poured their hearts out,” Blues Head Coach Ken Hitchcock said after the game. “Both teams played as well as they could play. We ran out of bodies, they had a little bit more in the tank in the end. We pushed them so hard we almost pushed them right out of their building in the second period, then they came back and pushed us. This was a playoff hockey game, and a good one.”

Paul Stastny was hit in the head by a deflected puck in the first period, Jay Bouwmeester left with an upper-body injury shortly after following a hard hit from Ryan Getzlaf, and Jake Allen left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury after a collision in the crease with Corey Perry.

Considering the circumstances, the Blues, for the most part, were pleased with Friday’s effort.

“I thought we deserved at least a point, probably two,” defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. “It was a great effort. We lost two key guys early on, and the way we battled and guys filled in and handled the irregularity in the lines was good to see.”

“We wanted a different outcome than the past couple games, but tonight, we battled for most of the night,” Blues forward Robby Fabbri said. “A lot of credit to the guys. Everyone pitched in and worked hard.”

While Stastny and Bouwmeester’s status for tonight’s game against the Kings is more uncertain, the Blues will certainly be without Allen as Jordan Binnington was recalled from the Chicago Wolves earlier today.

Binnington is 8-6-2 this season in Chicago, posting a 2.57 goals-against average and a .910 save-percentage.

Brian Elliott will likely start tonight against the Kings (9:30 p.m, FSMW, KMOX). He made 25 saves in relief last night and has posted a shutout in each of his last two starts at Staples Center, making 56 saves - although the Blues lost both games 1-0 in a shootout.

"It’s the story of our season. No one is going to feel sorry for us," Hitchcock said after Friday's game of the team's injuries. "We just have to keep getting point, whether it’s one point or two points. This point feels so much different than the other ones. The other ones were heartbreaking because we gave it up late, but this one feel good. It’s a great point."

BLUE NOTES

Vladimir Tarasenko has five points, including a hat trick, in the last three games vs. Los Angeles (three goals, two assists).

The Blues have points in three straight games and haven’t gone pointless in more than two consecutive games all season.

Robby Fabbri scored his 10th goal of the season last night in Anaheim, which moves him into a tie for fifth in goals among rookies. Fabbri has scored four goals since Christmas break, which shares second among rookies with Buffalo’s Jack Eichel.

The Kings have won six of their last seven games and have been dominant against the Blues at home. The Blues’ will be looking for their first win at Staples Center since March 17, 2011.

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