GAME: Los Angeles Kings (15-10-1-3) at St. Louis Blues (17-6-2-1).
TIME: Saturday, 8 p.m. EST.
Playing their best hockey of the season, the Pacific Division-leading Los
Angeles Kings host the streaking St. Louis Blues.
Los Angeles, which was plagued by inconsistency through the first two
months, has begun to put things together in December. After opening the month
with a 4-1 loss at St. Louis, the Kings have earned points in five consecutive
games (3-0-0-2), including Thursday's 4-1 triumph at Nashville.
Zigmund Palffy had two goals and an assist as Los Angeles rebounded nicely
from a pair of disappointing overtime losses.
"We regrouped and played well," Palffy said. "One of the keys for us is
that we have to play consistent. One of things we have to remember is that if
you are working hard on the ice, you are going to get chances."
Kings goalie Roman Cechmanek was forced to leave Thursday's game in the
first period with a hip injury after a collision with Nashville's David
Legwand, but Cristobal Huet stepped right in and stopped 29 of 30 shots.
"I was just out there trying to stop the puck," Cechmanek said.
"Everything just happened so fast. After the first couple of seconds while I
was on my back on the ice, I was scared. But eventually I started feeling
The Kings aren't taking any chances as they immediately recalled goalie
Milan Hnilicka from the minor leagues to help fill in for Cechmanek.
Acquired from Atlanta in the offseason, Hnilicka was 3-5 in eight games with
Manchester of the AHL with a 2.72 goals-against average and .897 save
Doug Weight scored with 8.7 seconds left in overtime to give the Blues a 3-2
victory at Columbus on Friday. Jamal Mayers and Keith Tkachuk also scored for
the Blues, who ran their unbeaten streak to five (4-0-1) and moved within one
point of first-place Detroit in the Central Division.
Tkachuk extended his points streak to five games, during which he has three
goals and four assists, for St. Louis, which boasts a 12-2-1 mark when scoring
first this season.