Feb 11, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues center David Backes (42) controls the puck as Los Angeles Kings defenseman Davis Drewiske (44) pressures during the second period at the Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings - Gameday Preview March 5, 2013

ST. LOUIS BLUES

at LOS ANGELES KINGS

March 5th, 2013
Staples Center
Los Angeles, CA
9:30 p.m. CST
TV: FOX Sports Midwest
L.A. leads Season Series 1-0

Tonight marks just the second time this season that the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues will face off.  After a 4-1 loss to the Kings on February 11th, the St. Louis Blues will be looking to take a couple points back in the playoff race tonight.  While the Blues have been streaky as of late, the Kings seemed to have found their stride.

ST. LOUIS BLUES

(11-8-2, 2nd in Central)

As of late the St. Louis Blues have had a lot of trouble getting into the win column on a consistent basis.  After a very average month in February, the St. Louis Blues are going to be looking to start once again on putting a winning streak together.  Throughout the month of February the Blues dropped from one of the top teams in the West to currently sitting in 7th place.  Look for the Blues to put forth a big effort tonight in Los Angeles to get two points.

Key players 

 

Mar 1, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk (22) takes a shot on goal during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers at the Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Shattenkirk has been great all season and with a goal and an assist in the last two games he shows no signs of slowing.  On the powerplay Shattenkirk has looked strong so if the Blues get the man advantage tonight, look for Shatty to be putting pucks on net.

Others to watch 

Alex Pietrangelo is a major force for the St. Louis Blues and the Kings know very well what his presence means for the team.  Without Pietrangelo in the lineup during last year’s Western Conference semifinals, the Kings found it all too easy to walk through the St. Louis defense.  Look for Petro to play a physical game tonight and possibly get on the scoreboard as well.

LOS ANGELES KINGS

(11-7-2, 3rd in Pacific)

The Los Angeles Kings saw their five game winning streak come to an end on Saturday nigt in Vancouver, but that didn’t keep them from a big win on Monday night.  The Kings took advantage of a struggling Nashville Predators team and managed to score 5 to pick up another two points.  Tonight the Kings will hope to keep the Blues from gaining another two points and continue their climb in the Western Conference standings.

Key players

 

Mar 4, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (77) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal in the second period against the Nashville Predators at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Carter is on fire as of late.  He scored a hat trick last night against the Predators and has eight goals in the last seven games.  Only once in the past seven games has Carter not managed to score a goal so look for him to try and take advantage of a struggling Blues defense tonight.

Others to watch

Jonathan Bernier is proving that he is the real deal.  He has won his last five games and allowed only one goal in each of those appearances.  He has a 0.933 save percentage and a 1.53 goals-against-average and is proving that he has the ability to be a number one.  While the Kings may not turn to him again tonight against St. Louis, if he does get the start he will surely prove to be difficult for the Blues to figure out.

Bottom line

Tonight’s game has the potential to be a close hard fought game, but if the St. Louis Blues are lethargic and wait for the play to come to them the Los Angeles Kings will take full advantage.  With the skilled goaltending of the Kings the St. Louis Blues offense will have to stick to their game plan of crashing the net to find goals.   If the Blues try to be too pretty or rely on skill alone, the Kings will walk away with this game.  In an important game for both teams whoever ends up with the two points will be the team that played a full 60 minutes.

Let’s hope the St. Louis Blues can bring home a win tonight.  LET’S GO BLUES!

-Alex Hodschayan

Tags: Game Preview Los Angeles Kings St. Louis Blues