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Blues ready for big matchup with Kings

by Chris Pinkert / St. Louis Blues

LOS ANGELES - With the Los Angeles Kings trailing the Blues by just three points for the final Wild Card spot in the West, the importance of tonight's 9 p.m. game between the Blues and Kings can't be overstated.

Here are some possible scenarios for tonight:

If the Blues beat the Kings in regulation, St. Louis would put themselves five points ahead of Los Angeles for the final Wild Card spot with 14 games remaining for both teams. The Blues could also find themselves in third place in the Central Division and out of the Wild Card if Nashville loses their matchup with the Winnipeg Jets tonight in regulation.

If the Kings beat the Blues in regulation, LA would trail the Blues by just one point for the final playoff position in the Western Conference with 14 games left to play.

"They're putting plenty of importance and emphasis on (this game), so I think if we want to have a good chance to win, we better, too," Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo said. "As competitors, those are fun hockey games to play. You want to go out there and be a gamer and rise to the level your teammates need you to play at. Obviously it's a lot of fun to come out on top."

"Everybody has to be pulling their weight no matter what their role is on the team," added Blues forward Alexander Steen. "It's a huge game for us and a huge opportunity to get some more gap on these guys. We'll be looking to come out hungry and determined and quick."

The Blues enter Monday's game on a four-game winning streak, which is the fourth-best active streak in the League. They are averaging 3.25 goals-per-game in their last four games and are 28-9-0 when scoring three or more goals in a game this season.

The Kings most recently beat the Washington Capitals 4-2 on Saturday and have collected points in six of their last seven games. They also recently saw goalie Jonathan Quick return from a groin injury that kept him out since the start of the season. Former Blue and St. Louis native Ben Bishop was acquired by the Kings at the trade deadline and is serving as the backup to Quick.

"There's a reason why these guys have won two Stanley Cups," Yeo said. "In big games, they're ready to play and they know how to play. I'm excited about the challenge and I think our group is, too."

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