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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 home.
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 shutout.
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 games.
"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 the run.
St. Louis picked up a fifth straight win at home in the opener of a three-game homestand.
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
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