NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, December 2nd
(All times Eastern)
St. Louis Blues (18-4-3) at Los Angeles Kings (16-7-4), 10:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings wrapped the month of November with
five straight one-goal games, four of which went beyond regulation.
Energy may have been a factor in their latest loss and the Kings could be in
for another close battle on Monday night as they take on the St. Louis Blues
for the first time since last season's playoffs.
Following a 5-2 victory over Tampa Bay on Nov. 19, Los Angeles lost back-to-
back overtime decisions to New Jersey and Colorado prior to an overtime win
over Vancouver last Monday.
The Kings, though, fell back into the loss column with a 3-2 shootout setback
to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday, though they did extend their point streak
to a club record-tying 11 straight games (7-0-4).
It appears all that extra hockey finally caught up to Los Angeles as it lost a
2-1 decision to the Calgary Flames on Saturday, not getting a goal until there
was 4:33 left in regulation and then giving up the winning tally to the
Flames' Mike Cammalleri with 23 seconds to play.
"We've got to find that energy again," said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. "I
think we've played all those overtime games in a row, which adds a lot ... I
think that was what we were lacking in our game tonight."
Ben Scrivens made 18 saves and Justin Williams notched his team-leading 10th
goal of the season as the Kings lost in regulation for the first time since
Williams' goal was the 200th of his career, while Anze Kopitar notched an
assist on the tally for his 500th career point.
While the Kings could use some rest, they won't get it for a few more days.
They are slated to visit the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night before being idle
First, Los Angeles will host a St. Louis club that it played in last season's
Western Conference quarterfinals. The Blues won the first two games of that
series at home before the Kings rallied back to win four straight and advance.
All six games were decided by a single goal.
The Kings won all three regular-season meetings last season and have taken
four straight and six of the past seven non-playoff encounters overall.
St. Louis has lost three straight in Los Angeles during the regular season and
aims to rebound after having a five-game win streak snapped with Friday's 6-3
setback to San Jose.
Ian Cole, David Backes and Jaden Schwartz scored for St. Louis.
"It's obviously not acceptable, regardless of what time of day or what holiday
it was the day before," said Cole. "It's not acceptable to come with the start
that we did."
Brian Elliott allowed four goals on 12 shots in the first period before giving
way to Jaroslav Halak, who yielded just one more tally over the next two
periods while posting 18 saves.
Halak is 6-4-0 with a 2.23 goals against average and two shutouts in 10
meetings with the Kings in the regular season.
Scrivens has faced the Blues only once before, stopping 38-of-40 shots faced
in a victory on Nov. 10, 2011 with Toronto.
12/02 10:37:48 ET