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Preview: Kings at Blues

Los Angeles seeks fifth straight win; St. Louis without defenseman Robert Bortuzzo

by Louie Korac / Correspondent

KINGS (4-3-0) at BLUES (4-2-2)

8 p.m. ET; FS-MW, FS-W, NHL.TV

Kings team scope

The Los Angeles Kings will be in search of their fifth straight victory. They have won four in a row (three in overtime and one in a shootout) since starting the season with three straight losses. "I don't think by any means we've really pitched a complete game yet," center Anze Kopitar said. "But we're finding ways to win and that says a lot about a team, especially early in the season where maybe you're not as sharp as you want to be, but you're still winning games. We're certainly taking the positives in that, but we still have to build our game and make it obviously as perfect as we can." Defenseman Alec Martinez, who leads the Kings with seven points, including five assists, has two goals and four assists during the four-game winning streak. "I think I've just kind of been the benefactor of a couple other guys making really good plays," Martinez said. "We took a focus on the offseason that we wanted our 'D' to get more shots. Obviously that's something we worked on over the summer and we work on it literally every day. For whatever reason, points come and they go. It's never really a steady stream." Peter Budaj, who has started each game during the winning streak, will start in goal. 

Blues team scope

The St. Louis Blues will be without defenseman Robert Bortuzzo (lower-body) after he was injured early in the third period of a 2-1 shootout loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. "He's out, and we're going to reevaluate him in 10 days," coach Ken Hitchcock said. He also said no one would be recalled from Chicago of the American Hockey League for the game but hasn't ruled out doing so for an upcoming two-game road trip. St. Louis will close a three-game homestand in which it has gone 0-1-1 and scored two goals. The Blues have lost four of the past five (1-2-2) and have scored one goal in each of the four losses. "We need more (scoring opportunities)," left wing David Perron said. "That's the result. If we don't score, we're definitely not getting enough. That's the sample the last five games; it's not just one or two games. I think we need to get more and that's getting the net more and creating those second and third chances." Goalie Jake Allen will start against. 

Kings projected lineup

Dwight King -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Devin Setoguchi

Andy Andreoff -- Nic Dowd -- Dustin Brown

Kyle Clifford -- Nick Shore -- Trevor Lewis

Brayden McNabb -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Derek Forbort -- Tom Gilbert

Peter Budaj

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Teddy Purcell, Jordan Nolan, Matt Greene

Injured: Jonathan Quick (groin), Jeff Zatkoff (groin), Marian Gaborik (foot)

Blues projected lineup

David Perron -- Paul Stastny -- Alexander Steen

Jori Lehtera -- Jaden Schwartz -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Robby Fabbri -- Patrik Berglund -- Nail Yakupov

Dmitrij Jaskin -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Scottie Upshall, Ty Rattie

Injured: Robert Bortuzzo (lower body)

Status report

Perron and Fabbri will flip spots in the Blues' lineup. Gunnarsson, a healthy scratch Thursday, will take the spot vacated by Bortuzzo. Upshall will be a healthy scratch for the second straight game. ... The Kings will use the same lineup for a fifth straight game.

Who's hot

Shattenkirk has a goal in two straight games. ... Pearson has four goals and two assists in the past five games. Kopitar has a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists).

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