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Blues at Kings preview

St. Louis can move closer to second in Central Division; Los Angeles 1-7-4 in past 12 games

by Dan Greenspan / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUES (35-25-6) at KINGS (24-34-8)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-W, FS-MW, NHL.TV 

 

The Game

The St. Louis Blues will try to gain ground in the Central Division when they play the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Thursday.

The Blues trail the second-place Winnipeg Jets by six points and first-place Nashville Predators by seven, and are three points ahead of the Dallas Stars, who hold the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference. They're 3-3-1 since an 11-game winning streak after defeating the Anaheim Ducks 5-4 on Wednesday. 

The Kings are 1-7-4 in their past 12 games and 16 points behind the Minnesota Wild for the second wild card from the West.

 

Players to watch

Blues defenseman Alex Pietrangelo has scored in consecutive games, including the winning goal against the Ducks with 52 seconds remaining in the third period. He has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past five games.   

Kings forward Dustin Brown has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past four games.

 

They said it

"You can't take anyone lightly, especially this time of year. Anyone can beat anyone at any given time." -- Blues forward Brayden Schenn

"When we get scored on I think we take it hard as a group. It's good that we take it hard, but we can't let it bother us. When it happens, we've got to move on." -- Kings coach Willie Desjardins on the importance of not allowing the first goal 

 

Blues projected lineup

Brayden Schenn -- Ryan O'Reilly -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Pat Maroon -- Tyler Bozak -- Robert Thomas

Jaden Schwartz -- Oskar Sundqvist -- Alexander Steen

Mackenzie MacEachern -- Ivan Barbashev -- Sammy Blais

Joel Edmundson -- Alex Pietrangelo

Jay Bouwmeester -- Colton Parayko

Vince Dunn -- Michael Del Zotto

Jake Allen

Jordan Binnington

Scratched: Zach Sanford, Robby Fabbri, Robert Bortuzzo

Injured: David Perron (upper body)

 

Kings projected lineup

Dustin Brown -- Anze Kopitar -- Tyler Toffoli

Brendan Leipsic -- Jeff Carter -- Ilya Kovalchuk

Alex Iafallo -- Adrian Kempe -- Jonny Brodzinski

Kyle Clifford -- Trevor Lewis -- Matt Luff

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Alec Martinez -- Sean Walker

Dion Phaneuf -- Matt Roy

Jonathan Quick

Jack Campbell

Scratched: Paul LaDue, Kurtis MacDermid

Injured: Austin Wagner (lower body)

 

Status report

The Blues did not hold a morning skate. ... Doughty and Phaneuf did not participate in an optional skate. 

 

Stat pack

The Blues have allowed at least four goals in each of their past three games (1-2-0) … … Carter is one point for 700 in the NHL. … Schwartz needs one point for 300. … Doughty has three assists during a three-game streak.

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