NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 16th
(All times Eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (28-14-5) at St. Louis Blues (32-8-5), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings ended a winless four-game road
trip with a loss in St. Louis two weeks ago. They hope for better luck against
the Blues on Thursday night in the first of another five straight away from
The Kings were outscored 12-4 over that four-game swing from Dec. 28-Jan. 2,
getting shut out twice. That included a 5-0 setback in St. Louis that halted
Los Angeles' five-game win streak over the Blues.
T.J. Oshie scored twice for the Blues and Brian Elliott notched a 30-save
Martin Jones got the start between the pipes for Los Angeles, but was pulled
in the second period after allowing two goals on 14 shots and Ben Scrivens
stopped only nine shots in relief.
That was the last appearance for either netminder as Jonathan Quick has since
returned and started all five games of a recent 3-1-1 homestand. Quick has
yielded seven goals since coming back from a groin strain suffered in mid-
November and logged his second shutout of the season in Monday's 1-0 win over
the Vancouver Canucks.
It was an intense game as the Kings and Canucks were meeting for the second
time in nine days. In the first encounter, which began Los Angeles' homestand,
Dustin Brown ran into Vancouver netminder Roberto Luongo, who finished the
game despite an ankle injury.
Brown fought Vancouver's Ryan Kesler six seconds into the middle period and
the clubs combined for 109 penalty minutes, but the Kings got the last laugh
when Brown scored 24 seconds into the third period for his third goal in five
"They're a tough team and we've developed a bit of a rivalry over the past few
years after playing them in the playoffs a few times. So that's what you
expect when they come in here and when we go out there," Quick said after
making 28 saves.
Quick, who posted his 27th career shutout, is 5-8-1 with a 2.37 goals against
average in 14 career games, including 13 starts, versus the Blues.
He'll be backed up tonight by Martin Jones, who was recalled from the minors
on Wednesday after the Kings dealt goaltender Ben Scrivens to the Edmonton
Oilers for a third-round pick in 2014.
Scrivens, acquired this past offseason in the deal that sent former Kings
backup Jonathan Bernier to Toronto, got the bulk of the work in net when Quick
initially went down with his groin strain and went 7-5-4 with a 1.97 GAA, .931
save percentage in three shutouts in 17 games with Los Angeles.
Jones, meanwhile, is 8-3-0 with a 1.41 GAA, .950 save percentage and three
shutouts. He was the NHL's co-rookie of the month in December and matched a
league record when he won his first eight games.
St. Louis' win over Los Angeles was part of a seven-game win streak that came
to an end last Friday in a setback to Vancouver. The Blues then rested up and
came back on Tuesday with a 2-1 triumph over the Phoenix Coyotes.
Oshie scored twice and Jaroslav Halak made 20 saves as the Blues improved to
10-1-1 in their last 12 games and sit two points behind Chicago for first
place in the Central Division.
"This was a good game for us coming off that bit of a break we had," said
Oshie. "Halak made some huge saves because this game could have easily gone
the other way if it weren't for him."
David Backes had two assists and defenseman Alex Pietrangelo added a helper to
push his point streak to six games. He has two goals and seven assists over
St. Louis picked up a fifth straight win at home in the opener of a three-game
Halak, who had posted a 33-save shutout in his previous start last Thursday
versus Calgary, is 6-5-0 with a 2.31 GAA in 11 career games versus the Kings
and will get the start tonight.
01/16 10:55:59 ET