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Kings-Blues Preview

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GAME: Los Angeles Kings (35-24-5) at St. Louis Blues (19-32-10).

TIME: Saturday, 8 p.m. EST.

The Los Angeles Kings look to reverse their recent road woes when they visit the suddenly surging St. Louis Blues.

The Kings have been outscored 41-17 while going just 1-5-2 in their last eight road games. Despite the poor road play, Los Angeles is in seventh place in the Western Conference, one point behind Vancouver and three behind Colorado.

The Kings saw their season-high five-game winning streak end with a 7-3 loss Thursday to West leader Detroit. The Red Wings were coming off a 5-2 home loss Tuesday to Phoenix.

"We knew they were disappointed in their effort against Phoenix and were going to come out very hard," Los Angeles coach Andy Murray said. "Our sitting back and being assertive in our game only compounded the problem tonight."

Kings defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky had a goal and an assist against Detroit, and has four goals and five assists in his last six games. He also has a three-game point streak against St. Louis with a goal and four assists.

Joe Corvo assisted on Dustin Brown's power-play goal on Thursday, and has a career-high six-game point streak. The third-year defenseman has a goal and six assists during the streak, and had his first career two-goal game in the Kings' 6-3 win over the Blues on Nov. 22.

Goaltender Mathieu Garon made 26 saves in 30 shots against Detroit before being pulled in the second period. He is just 1-4-2 with a 4.58 goals-against average in his last seven road starts.

The Kings have just one win in their last six games in St. Louis.

The Blues are next-to-last overall in the NHL, but 7-1-2 in their last 10 games, including a 2-1 overtime victory Friday over Minnesota.

"I just think we're keeping it simple out there and we're making it difficult on the other team," goalie Curtis Sanford said. "We dug ourselves a hole early in the season but we still have a lot to play for in this room, pride being a lot of it."

The Blues have gone to extra time in their last five home games, winning twice in overtime and twice in shootouts.

Timofei Shishkanov scored his first career goal in the first period on Friday and rookie Lee Stempniak scored 25 seconds into overtime, giving him his ninth goal in his last 12 games.

Sanford stopped 22 shots against the Wild and is 3-1-1 with a 1.38 GAA and .949 save percentage in his last five games. He allowed five goals in his only career game against the Kings on Nov. 22.

STANDINGS: Kings - 75 points, 2nd place, 10 PB, Pacific Division. Blues - 48 points, 5th place, 41 PB, Central Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Kings - Mark Parrish, 24 goals; Visnovsky, 43 assists and 60 points; Sean Avery, 215 PIM. Blues - Dean McAmmond, 15 goals; Petr Cajanek, 29 assists; Scott Young, 41 points; Barret Jackman, 131 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Kings - Power play: 15.6 percent (66 for 423), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.3 percent (311 for 397), 29th. Blues - Power play: 15.8 percent (62 for 390), 23rd. Penalty killing: 81.8 percent (292 for 357), 18th.

GOALTENDERS: Kings - Garon (26-16-3, 2 SO, 3.05 GAA); Jason LaBarbera (9-8-2, 0, 3.29). Blues - Sanford (13-13-5, 3, 2.67); Patrick Lalime (3-11-5, 0, 3.81).

SEASON SERIES: Kings, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 22; Kings 6-3. At St. Louis, former Blue Pavol Demitra matched his career high with four assists for the Kings.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Kings - 14-15-4 on the road; Blues - 10-15-4 at home.

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