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Kings-Blues Preview @NHL
Kings-Blues Preview

GAME: Los Angeles Kings (14-6-1) at St. Louis Blues (4-12-3).

TIME: Tuesday, 8 p.m. EST.

Kings center Pavol Demitra, coming off a hat trick, returns to the Savvis Center for the first time with his new team as first-place Los Angeles takes on the league-worst St. Louis Blues.

Demitra, a three-time All-Star, signed a three-year, $13.5 million contract with the Kings in August after seven-plus seasons with the Blues. He is fifth on the Blues' career list in goals, assists and points.

Demitra's fourth career hat trick led Los Angeles to a 4-3 victory over visiting Colorado on Saturday, its fourth win in five games.

Before scoring three times against Colorado, Demitra had gone seven straight games without a goal. He leads the Western Conference with 29 points.

Demitra became the fourth Kings player this season with three goals in a game, joining Lubomir Visnovsky, Craig Conroy and Alexander Frolov.

Frolov assisted on two of Demitra's goals, giving him 11 assists in his last six games.

While Los Angeles is among the league leaders in goals scored with 78, the Blues have scored the third-fewest goals in the league (49).

St. Louis has scored two goals or fewer in six straight games before it beat Detroit 3-2 on Saturday for its second consecutive victory following a franchise-record 11-game losing streak.

"Coming off a stretch where you lose 11 games and then beat Columbus and to come in here and get a repeat performance is a big confidence builder," goaltender Curtis Sanford said.

Sanford has been in goal the last three games, and was named the NHL's Defensive Player of the Week for the period ending Sunday.

Sanford was 2-0-0 with a 1.00 goals-against average, a .971 save percentage and one shutout this past week. Despite only 10 career starts, he has a 1.88 GAA, .927 save percentage and two shutouts.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 21): Kings - 29 points, 1st place, Pacific Division. Blues - 11 points, 4th place, 21 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Demitra, Conroy and Frolov, 11 goals; Demitra, 18 assists and 29 points; Sean Avery, 65 PIM. Blues - Jamal Mayers, 7 goals and 37 PIM; Petr Cajanek, 15 assists and 17 points; Mayers, 37 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 21): Kings - Power play: 17.2 percent (23 for 133), 20th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.1 percent (109 for 128), tied for 5th. Blues - Power play: 13.7 percent (18 for 131), 26th. Penalty killing: 81.6 percent (102 for 125), 16th.

GOALTENDERS: Kings - Mathieu Garon (6-4-0, 0 SO, 3.05 GAA); Jason LaBarbera (8-2-1, 2.44). Blues - Sanford (2-1-0, 1, 1.69); Patrick Lalime (2-9-3, 4.00).

SEASON SERIES: Kings, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 29; Kings, 5-2. At Los Angeles, Demitra and Frolov scored two goals apiece as the Kings defeated the Blues for the first time in seven meetings.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 5-3-1 on the road; Blues - 2-7-1 at home.

Associated Press
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