Skip to main content

Blues hope to keep home edge in pivotal Game 5

by Brian Hunter


(Best-of-7 series tied, 2-2)


Big story: The Los Angeles Kings showed they aren't ready to give up their grasp on the Stanley Cup just yet, as the defending champions scored more goals in Game 4 against the St. Louis Blues than they had in the entire series to that point, evening things up as the series shifts back to Scottrade Center. Now, can the Blues regain the momentum or will the Kings become the first road team to win a game?

Team Scope:

Kings: It would have been easy for Los Angeles to fold up the tents after St. Louis struck for two early goals Monday night -- after all, the Kings had only managed one goal against Blues goalie Brian Elliott in each of the first three games of the series. Instead, they quickly erased the deficit as Jeff Carter and Dustin Penner scored for the first time in the playoffs.

However, the Kings still had another hurdle to climb, as they trailed again 3-2 entering the third period. Twenty minutes from facing a 3-1 series deficit, they had another two-goal burst in them, Anze Kopitar breaking his long drought and then Justin Williams putting them in front for the first time 1:16 later.

"That's playoffs," Williams said. "That's battling all the way to the final buzzer. We needed a big third period, and we responded. We're an experience team. We've been through a lot, and we knew we were facing a daunting task going back to St. Louis down 3-1, and we found it in ourselves. This is a group that's been in pressure situations before, and we know what we have to do to overcome it."

Blues: By winning the first two games, St. Louis assured it would not lose home-ice advantage regardless of what happened in Los Angeles. But while sweeping the series might have been an unrealistic expectation, the Blues have to be disappointed that instead of gaining a split and having the opportunity to close out the Kings in Game 5, they're all even again and now facing a best-of-3 for the right to advance to the second round.

T.J. Oshie's first two goals of the playoffs gave the Blues leads of 2-0 and 3-2 that both disappeared as they couldn't answer a furious Kings' push. Elliott allowed four even-strength goals for the first time since Feb. 9.

"That was tough," defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk said. "We knew they were going to come. We have to be much better there. We have to be able to respond to it. If we want to grow as a playoff team and be successful in the future here, those are the situations that we have to start bearing down, especially as a team that's been through it before, we have to know that that's coming.

"The series is back to a tie. We go back home and start over. It's just a matter of resetting and getting back to the way we were playing."

Who's hot: Williams had a monster Game 4 for the Kings, scoring the decisive goal on six shots while adding four hits and a blocked shot. … Vladimir Sobotka assisted on a pair of goals for the Blues, was plus-2 and recorded a game-high 10 hits while winning 65 percent of his faceoffs.

Injury report: Media reports indicate Los Angeles defenseman Matt Greene's latest injury is of the lower-body variety and he is unlikely to return in this series.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.