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Blues, Kings battle for top spot in West

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

ST. LOUIS - The top two teams in the Western Conference will go head to head tonight when the St. Louis Blues meet the Los Angeles Kings at 7 p.m. at Scottrade Center (FSMW, FSGO, KMOX 1120 AM).

The Blues (9-2-1, 19 points) have earned points in six straight games (5-0-1) and are the only team in the League that has yet to lose at home.

Scottie Upshall scored a goal and recorded two assists to spark big contributions from the fourth line Saturday in the Blues' 4-1 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets. Kyle Brodziak - who has four points in his last six games - also contributed a goal and an assist in the win. Jake Allen stopped 36 of 37 shots from the Blue Jackets and improved to 6-2-1 on the season.

For the Kings, Tyler Toffoli scored two goals - including the game-winner with 0.4 seconds left in overtime - to secure a 2-1 win against the Boston Bruins on Saturday night. The win gives Los Angeles a record of 9-1-1 on the season, which matches their best start in franchise history.

The Kings have won three straight games.

Video: Blues Gameday Live for Oct. 30

"Right now, (this game) is big," Brodziak said. "We know how well they're playing, I think they know how well we're playing. Both teams want to show one another what each other is made of. It's going to be a good battle tonight. Two teams that play very well structurally, they play a heavy game. It's going to be a big man's game out there. Both teams know that and both teams are excited about that."

"It's going to be a fun game. It's another team that's going," said Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo. "Their top guys are going really well right now. (Anze) Kopitar looks really good, (Drew) Doughty looks really good. They're supporting cast - everybody is on top of their game.

"It's going to be difficult to get things going against a team like this," Yeo said. "They're going to force you to defend in situations that are not easy to defend. I feel like they're playing with a little bit more pace than they have in the past. I'm seeing a lot of good things from their side."

The Blues are 5-3-1 against the Kings over their last nine matchups and have won three of the last four meetings at Scottrade Center. Expect a stingy game tonight, though: Los Angeles leads the League with a .944 save-percentage and a 1.82 goals-against average. The Blues are third in both categories with a .928 save-percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average.

Video: Mike Yeo on facing the LA Kings

HOT VS. LOS ANGELES

- Alex Pietrangelo has 15 points in 23 career games against the Kings.

- Paul Stastny has 32 points (12 goals, 20 assists) in 36 career games against the Kings.

- Jake Allen has a 1.83 goals-against average and a .942 save-percentage in five career starts against the Kings.

- Vladimir Tarasenko has seven goals in 14 games vs. Los Angeles.

BLUE NOTES

- The Blues are 6-1-1 this season when scoring first, which ranks second in the NHL. The Blues are also 8-0-0 this season when leading after two periods, which is the most wins in the League under that scenario.

Joel Edmundson scored his third goal of the season in Saturday's 4-1 win against Columbus. That already ties his career high, which he set last season.

- The Blues lead the League with 204 blocked shots.

- Vladimir Sobotka has four points in his last five games (one goal, three assists).

- Jaden Schwartz is fourth overall in the League in points (15) with seven goals and eight assists through 12 games. Pierre Turgeon scored 17 points in the month of October in 2000 - which is the highest total by a Blue in 17 years.

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