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Kings visit St. Louis aiming for season sweep of Blues

by Eric Goodman

KINGS (18-12-2) at BLUES (17-13-2)


Last 10: Los Angeles 6-4-0; St. Louis 6-4-0

Season series: This is the third and final meeting. The Kings won the previous two games and are 5-1-0 in their last six against the Blues. Los Angeles totaled 10 goals in the two wins over St. Louis this season.

Big story: The Blues try to break out of their recent funk, having dropped three of their last four games. The Kings are battling for playoff positioning with St. Louis as they attempt to extend their recent good fortunes on the road Thursday with the second of five straight games away from Staples Center.

Team Scope:

Kings: Los Angeles broke a three-game road losing streak and ended a scoring drought that lasted two games with a dramatic 5-4 victory at the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday. Anze Kopitar's goal in the second period put an end to over 150 straight minutes without a score. Captain Dustin Brown would seal the win for the Kings on a goal with less than 90 seconds remaining in regulation as the team got their road trip off to the right start.

"We didn't score the last two games, so it was nice to get on the board and off that schneid," Kopitar said. "Coming in [to United Center] and scoring five goals, it's a big deal. We just stuck with it and it paid [off] in the end."

Blues: Coach Ken Hitchcock held a closed-door meeting with his team after the Blues put a season-high 43 shots on goal against the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, but fell 3-0. The defeat ended a four-game home winning streak for St. Louis. When Hitchcock finally addressed reporters after the meeting, he shared a sense of urgency for getting the entire organization focused toward succeeding this season.

"It's going to take a deeper buy-in by the group for us to be successful. I think that's going to be a partnership by management, coaches and players. It's going to have to be deeper. It's not deep enough," Hitchcock said.

Who's hot: Kopitar has 10 points (3g, 7a) in his past 10 games for Los Angeles. … T.J. Oshie has two goals and an assist over his past three games for St. Louis.

Injury report: Defenseman Willie Mitchell remains as day-to-day with a knee injury, while blueliner Matt Greene (back injury) is out indefinitely for the Kings. … For the Blues, Jamie Langenbrunner is out for the season with a hip injury.

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