NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Thursday, December 21st
(All times eastern)
Los Angeles Kings (12-18-5) at St. Louis Blues (8-19-6), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - After finally earning their first victory in nearly a
month, the St. Louis Blues try to make it two in a row when they host the Los
Angeles Kings tonight at Scottrade Center.
St. Louis put an end to an 11-game skid with a strong performance Tuesday in
Pittsburgh. Dan Hinote and Doug Weight each had a goal and an assist to help
the Blues to a 4-1 victory over the Penguins at Mellon Arena.
Bill Guerin and Ryan Johnson also added goals for the Blues, who won for the
first time since a shootout defeat of Detroit on November 24. It was also the
club's first triumph in five games (1-2-2) since Andy Murray replaced Mike
Kitchen as head coach.
Manny Legace started in net for St. Louis and stopped nine shots in the first
period before being forced to exit with flu-like symptoms. Jason Bacashihua
took over at the start of the second period and made 16 saves on 17 shots.
The Blues will now vie for their first home win since a November 12 decision
over Edmonton. St. Louis has lost seven in a row at the Scottrade Center and
is just 4-10-3 on home ice for the year.
Los Angeles tries to end a two-game losing streak tonight. In their most
recent outing, the Kings fell 5-3 to Calgary Tuesday at the Staples Center.
Rookie Anze Kopitar continued his stellar play of late with two goals for the
inconsistent Kings, who fell to 3-4-1 in December. Dan Cloutier made 26 saves
in his first action in a week. The goaltender had missed two straight games
with a sore shoulder.
Kopitar has now compiled four goals and three assists during a current four-
game point-scoring streak. The 19-year-old tops Los Angeles with 21 assists on
The Kings, who will play five of their next seven away from home, are just 4-9
on the road in 2006-07.
Los Angeles has won five straight in this series, including a 4-1 home triumph
over the Blues on October 7. St. Louis' last victory over the Kings was a 5-3
decision in LA on March 16, 2004.
12/21 10:18:53 ET