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At midway mark, Kings host struggling Blues

by Alex Kinkopf / Los Angeles Kings


BLUES ON TAP: Tonight marks the second of three meetings with St. Louis this season, and the Blues’ only visit to STAPLES Center. The Blues are playing the final of a three-game road-trip tonight where they’ve gone 0-0-2 thus far, and are coming off of a 4-3 shootout loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night. The Kings are playing the second of a four-game home stand, they’re coming off of a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night.

LINEUP: The Kings held an optional morning skate at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo in anticipation of tonight’s game. No line rushes were held, and the team is expected to skate with the same lines used during Friday’s practice, which showed no changes to the lineup used Thursday night against the Maple Leafs. Jonathan Quick will draw the start in net.

FORWARDS

LUCIC – KOPITAR – TOFFOLI
PEARSON – CARTER – GABORIK
KING – LEWIS – BROWN
MERSCH – LECAVALIER – NOLAN
(ANDREOFF – SHORE)

DEFENSEMEN

MCNABB – DOUGHTY
MUZZIN – MARTINEZ
EHRHOFF – SCHENN
(MCBAIN)

GOALTENDERS

QUICK
(ENROTH)

BATTERED BLUES: Three Blues players fell to injury in the club’s 4-3 SO loss Friday night in Anaheim; Paul Stastny, Jay Bouwmeester, and goaltender Jake Allen all returning to St. Louis for evaluation. Allen’s injury all but confirms Brian Elliott will get the call for St. Louis in net tonight. St. Louis has lost five straight games, but have earned a point in each of their last three games with a pair of OT losses and one SO loss.

NEW FOR TWO: Vincent Lecavalier and Luke Schenn each participated in their first morning skate as members of the Kings Saturday morning, and are both likely to draw into tonight’s lineup. Lecavalier, who registered 9:26 minutes of ice time in his Kings debut Thursday, recorded an assist, one shot, one hit, some time on both the power play and penalty kill, will skate between Michael Mersch and Jordan Nolan on the fourth line. Luke Schenn, who registered 15:59 minutes of ice time in his Kings debut, recorded three shots and some time on the penalty kill, will skate on the Kings’ third D-pairing alongside Christian Ehrhoff.

THE LAST TIME AROUND: In the Kings’ first meeting with the Blues this season on November 3 at St Louis’ Scottrade Center, they won 3-0. Jeff Carter and Tanner Pearson scored goals for the Kings, while Trevor Lewis added an empty netter; Jhonas Enroth recorded his 6th-career NHL shutout, stopping all 24 shots he faced. Carter (1G, 1A) and Pearson (1G, 1A) led the Kings with two points apiece.

BAD VLAD: Blues’ star forward Valdimir Tarasenko comes into the night fifth in the NHL in points scored with 43 (24G, 19A). The Kings kept Tarasenko off the scoresheet in the teams’ first meeting of the season on November 3, and have done so in four of the nine times they’ve faced the 24 year-old forward. Tarasenko has registered 10 points (7G, 3A) in nine career games against the Kings, and comes into the night with four points (2G, 2A) in the last four games.

LOS ANGELES BLUES: The Kings have won in each of St. Louis’ previous 11 visits to STAPLES Center, including playoffs, dating back to October 18, 2011. Six of those 11-straight wins are regular season victories, five of them postseason, and all but two of them in regulation. The Kings went 2-0-0 in the Blues’ two visits to Los Angeles last season.

Morning! #LAKings - Blues tonight at 7:30

A photo posted by LA Kings (@lakings) on

WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch the ‘Kings Live’ pregame show at 7:00 PM PST on Fox Sports West, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop just after 7:30. As always, you can listen to Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans call the action live over the radio airwaves on AM 790 KABC.

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