Kings vs. Blues Preview
ST. LOUIS, MO (AP) - After a rough finish to November, the Los Angeles Kings have been tough to beat in December.
The visiting Kings look to continue their success this month and avoid a fourth straight loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night.
Los Angeles (17-10-1) lost seven of eight to conclude November but improved to 4-0-1 in December with a 5-0 victory at Detroit on Monday to open a five-game road trip.
According to NHL odds and oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made the Kings -107 money line favorites for Thursday's game against the Blues. Current NHL Public Betting Information shows that 67% of more than 156 bets for this game have been placed on the Kings -107.Jonathan Quick stopped a career-high 51 shots for his 10th career shutout.
"It's great and all to get all of those saves but at the end of the day, the two points is all that matters," said Quick, who has a 1.56 goals-against average while winning four of his last five starts.
Quick, however, has posted a 3.91 GAA during the Kings' three-game skid against St. Louis (14-10-5). He made 22 saves in a 3-1 loss at St. Louis in the teams' last meeting March 25.
Still, after snapping a three-game road losing streak Monday, the Kings have a good chance to win consecutive contests away from home for just the second time this season when facing an injury-riddled Blues club that has dropped seven of nine overall.
Injuries to defensemen Alex Pietrangelo (upper body) and Roman Polak (wrist surgery), plus forwards David Perron (concussion), Andy McDonald (concussion) and T.J. Oshie (broken ankle) continue to hinder the Blues.
St. Louis also could be without star defenseman Erik Johnson and forward Vladimir Sobotka after each suffered a lower-body injury during Wednesday's 5-2 loss at Detroit.
"It's kind of what we've been going through and something we've got to continue to work through," Blues forward B.J. Crombeen said about the rash of injuries. "We've got some guys that are ready and waiting that will step in."
Jaroslav Halak could be in net again after he made 32 saves Wednesday. He is 2-0-0 with a 2.00 GAA versus Los Angeles.
Backup Ty Conklin is 5-1-0 with a 2.01 GAA against the Kings.
Though Alex Steen has been held without a point during the Blues' three-game winning streak against Los Angeles, the St. Louis forward has three goals and three assists in his last four contests.
Kings star Anze Kopitar has five goals and three assists this month, and teammate Drew Doughty - a Norris Trophy finalist last season - snapped a 10-game point drought with three assists at Detroit.
"It was obviously pretty frustrating before, not getting many points, so it was about time," Doughty told the Kings' official website. "I knew it was going to happen eventually. I just had to stick to my game and play as hard as I could."
Los Angeles is expected to have defensemen Matt Greene and Rob Scuderi in the lineup after each left Monday's game with an injury.
Veteran forward Marco Sturm took part in his first practice since being acquired by the Kings from Boston on Saturday, but he is still recovering from a knee injury and likely won't play until next week at the earliest.