NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 18th (All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (24-20-1) at St. Louis Blues (21-17-6), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling teams get together tonight at the Scottrade Center, where the St. Louis Blues hope to pick up a sixth victory in row over the visiting Los Angeles Kings.
The Blues have lost six of their last seven games and sit 12th overall in the Western Conference with just 48 points. That is one fewer than the Kings, who have lost eight of their last 10 and are three points back of the conference's eighth spot.
St. Louis returns home after a quick road trip and will play its next three games at Scottrade Center. The Blues have lost three straight as the host and are coming off Saturday's 4-2 setback in San Jose.
B.J. Crombeen and Erik Johnson scored in the loss and Jaroslav Halak gave up all four goals on 29 shots.
Hoping to add to an offense that remains without David Perron, T.J. Oshie and Andy McDonald due to injury, the Blues signed forward Kyle Wellwood to a one- year contract on Monday. However, the 27-year-old must first clear waivers before he can suit up for St. Louis tonight as he played in 25 games with Mytishchi Atlant of the Kontinental Hockey League this season, notching five goals and three assists.
Wellwood had 14 goals and 11 assists in 75 games with Vancouver in 2009-10.
St. Louis signed former NHL and KHL skater Marek Svatos back on Dec. 28, but he failed to clear waivers after being claimed by Nashville.
With or without Wellwood, the Blues will be looking to extend their five-game series winning streak over the Kings. St. Louis has also won two straight and seven of the last nine played at home versus Los Angeles.
The Kings completed a recent eight-game homestand just 2-6-0, including a 3-1 setback to the Blues last Thursday, and began a stretch of playing 13 of their next 16 on the road last night in Dallas. Los Angeles, though, fell to 9-12-0 on the road this season with a 2-1 loss.
Justin Williams gave the Kings an early lead, but the offense went cold after his first-period goal. Still, Los Angeles had a golden chance to tie the game with 52.4 seconds left in regulation, but defenseman Jack Johnson had his penalty shot attempt stoned by Stars goaltender Kari Lehtonen.
"The game wasn't lost there," Kings center Anze Kopitar told his club's website. "It was the 60 minutes. If you look at the last five minutes, yeah, we had chances, but that's just the nature of it. They pulled back and we had to throw everything at them."
Jonathan Bernier finished with 25 saves in his second straight start, but Los Angeles is likely to go back to Jonathan Quick tonight even though he is just 1-5-1 with a 3.24 goals-against average in his career versus the Blues. He has been in net for both losses this season, allowing eight goals on 51 shots.
Halak, meanwhile, has won all three of his starts versus Los Angeles with a 1.67 GAA.
Kings forward Wayne Simmonds will miss his second straight game due to a lower-body injury suffered during a post-whistle scrum in Saturday's win over the Oilers. Simmonds is day-to-day with his ailment.
01/18 10:59:00 ET