St. Louis Blues look to derail Los Angeles Kings' winning streak

9:31 AM, Mar 22, 2012   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - Offense no longer seems to be a problem for the Los Angeles Kings and their current run has strengthened their bid for a playoff spot.

The Kings look for a sixth consecutive win tonight as they take on the NHL- leading St. Louis Blues.

Los Angeles has scored 21 goals over its current winning streak and is averaging 3.5 goals per game in 12 contests since acquiring forward Jeff Carter from Columbus. The Kings were averaging 2.03 goals per game before the deal.

The Kings are on their longest winning streak since six straight victories from Oct. 28-Nov. 13 of last season, extending the run with Tuesday's 5-2 victory over the Sharks. With 84 points, the Kings are tied with the Coyotes in the Western Conference standings but own the tiebreaker with one less game played.

Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar had a goal and two assists each on Tuesday, while Alec Martinez, Dustin Penner and Carter also scored. Jonathan Quick came up with 20 saves for Los Angeles, which has won the first two of a four-game homestand.

"[The Sharks] played last night and we were fresh," said Kings head coach Darryl Sutter. "We pushed them tonight. Our guys have to raise their game if we're going to make the playoffs."

Los Angeles should have to raise its game regardless given that it is taking on St. Louis, which leads the NHL with 100 points and has already clinched a playoff spot. The Blues are five up on the Canucks in the West and own a one- point edge over the East-leading Rangers.

St. Louis, though, has lost three of its past four and is coming off last night's 4-3 defeat in Anaheim. Jaden Schwartz scored his second goal in as many NHL games, while David Backes and David Perron also lit the lamp. Alex Pietrangelo added two assists and Jaroslav Halak yielded all four goals on 22 shots.

"We played a strong first period, then we got away from our game," Blues defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo said. "They got a lucky one on their fourth goal. A couple of mental mistakes cost us the game."

It was the first time this season that the Blues lost when scoring at least three goals in a game, falling to 37-1-1.

St. Louis fell to 2-2-1 on a seven-game road trip that ends in Phoenix on Sunday. The Blues fell to 17-16-4 as the guest and 29-4-4 at home this season.

The Blues have won eight of their past 10 versus the Kings, losing the first two encounters this season before notching a 1-0 victory at home over Los Angeles on Feb. 3. Halak posted a 22-save shutout.

The Kings' halted a four-game slide at home to the Blues with a 5-0 victory on Oct. 18. Quick stopped 27 shots.

 

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