BLUES (21-8-2) at KINGS (15-11-6)
7:30PM PT, TV: FOX SPORTS WEST; RADIO: AM 790 KABC
BACK-TO-BACK BLUES: This is the third and final meeting with the St. Louis Blues this season; the clubs have split the first two contests, the Kings winning 1-0 on October 16 at STAPLES Center, the Blues winning 5-2 Tuesday night at Scottrade Center. St. Louis comes into the night riding a five-game win streak, and their 44 points is good for third-best in the Western Conference. The Kings begin a four-game home stand tonight; they’re 11-4-1 on home ice this season.
BRODEUR IN BLUE?: Martin Brodeur, after signing a one-year deal with the Blues on December 2, will make his third start in a St. Louis uniform tonight. In three appearances since his signing, Brodeur is 2-1-0 with a .904 SV% and a 2.64 GAA. Brodeur made 32 saves in his previous start against the Florida Panthers on December 8 in a Blues 4-2 win. This will be the first time the Kings face Brodeur since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final on June 11, 2012.
SLUMP CITY: In their return home, the Kings will look to move on from a frustrating road trip that saw them go 1-3-1. In doing so, the Kings will look to get production from forwards that have been cold of late. Jeff Carter is without a goal in the previous 13 games, and has one in his past 17. Anze Kopitar only has one goal in his past 14 games, and Tyler Toffoli with only two goals in the past 14.
LINEUP NOTES: Jonathan Quick left the ice first at today’s morning skate in El Segundo, so he’ll get the call in net for the Kings tonight. Defenseman Jamie McBain and forward Jordan Nolan remained on the ice for extra work, so those two are expected to be healthy scratches. Tonight’s lines should look the same as they were for Tuesday in St. Louis.
BROWN – KOPITAR – CARTER
GABORIK – STOLL – WILLIAMS
KING – RICHARDS – PEARSON
CLIFFORD – LEWIS - TOFFOLI
BLUES BITS: St. Louis forward T.J. Oshie will be back in the Blues’ lineup tonight after missing Tuesday’s game due to family reasons. Oshie has 12 points (5G, 7A) in 23 games this season. Martin Brodeur will make his third start in a Blues uniform. Defenseman Jaden Schwartz, who has been phenomenal for the Blues this season in recording 27 points (11G, 16A) in 31 games played, will be out for tonight’s game, and for the foreseeable future, after suffering a foot injury in Tuesday night’s game against the Kings.
THE LAST TIME AROUND: The last time the Kings hosted the Blues at STAPLES Center, on October 16, they pulled away with a 1-0 win in a shootout. Jonathan Quick stopped all 43 shots he faced, and Jeff Carter was the only player to score in the shootout – clinching the win for the Kings. The Kings have won each of their previous five regular season contests against the Blues at STAPLES Center, dating back to October 18, 2011. Including shootout winners, the Kings have outscored the Blues 15-6 in those five games, shutting out the Blues in three of those games.
CARTER’S GOT THE BLUES
WE’RE DOING IT LIVE: Catch KINGS LIVE at 7:00PM PT on FOX SPORTS WEST, followed with Bob and Jim on the live play-by-play call from STAPLES Center for puck drop at 7:30PM PT.