Preview: Blues at Kings
The St. Louis Blues reside as the West's best team in the standings due in large part to how they have fared against the rest of the conference. The Blues carry a sparkling 16-2-3 record versus Western Conference foes into Monday's road game against the Los Angeles Kings.
Captain Alex Pietrangelo scored twice in the third period and Jaden Schwartz had a goal and two assists on Saturday as St. Louis won its fifth straight contest and ninth in its last 12 outings with a 5-2 victory over San Jose. "It's never easy coming over to the West Coast the day before. Sometimes, you don't have your legs and didn't think we did (Saturday), but we just found a way," the 29-year-old Pietrangelo said. Despite the struggles, the Blues boast an 11-4-3 record on the road heading into their tilt versus a Kings club that began their six-game road trip with a 3-0-1 mark before dropping the last two contests. "We got points in every game except for one (on the road trip) so that's really positive, but I would have liked to have seen two points in a couple of the other games and I would have liked to have seen two points tonight. It's a little bit frustrating," Los Angeles defenseman Drew Doughty said after Saturday's 3-2 loss to Buffalo.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, FS Southwest (St. Louis), FS West (Los Angeles)
ABOUT THE BLUES (23-8-6): Brayden Schenn scored the first of his two goals on the power play and Pietrangelo and defenseman Vince Dunn also converted with the man advantage in a 5-2 win over Los Angeles on Oct. 24. Reigning Selke and Conn Smythe Trophy recipient Ryan O'Reilly set up Pietrangelo's game-tying goal in that contest and scored into an empty net on Saturday to extend his point streak to five games (one goal, five assists). David Perron, who leads the club in goals (15) and points (35), has three and five, respectively, during his three-game point streak.
ABOUT THE KINGS (15-19-4): Adrian Kempe scored a goal in his third consecutive contest after tallying just four times in his previous 34 games. Dustin Brown also scored versus the Sabres, marking just his second goal and fourth point in December (11 games). Jeff Carter, who scored in the first encounter with St. Louis, saw his five-game point streak (three goals, two assists) come to a halt on Saturday.
1. St. Louis G Jordan Binnington, who made 33 saves in the first meeting with Los Angeles, is just 5-3-1 on the road this season.
2. The Kings boast a 10-6-1 record at home despite residing in last place in the Pacific Division.
3. Blues C Robert Thomas, who scored in the first encounter with Los Angeles, sits one point shy of 50 for his career.
PREDICTION: Blues 5, Kings 2