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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET23:00 BRT, January 23, 2021
Enterprise Center, St. Louis, Missouri  Attendance: 0

Blues look to get back on track vs. Kings

Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues

  1. The Blues have won three straight against the Kings by an aggregate score of 13-3, but the Kings have won two of their last three trips to St. Louis. The Blues went 5-for-6 on the power-play in the two meetings last season, while the Kings converted just one of their eight chances with the man advantage.
  2. Los Angeles picked up its first win of the season with a 4-2 victory over Colorado on Thursday. The Kings have been shorthanded 21 times so far this season, tied for third-most in the NHL (Canucks, 31; Canadiens, 25) and their most through four games since 2012-13 (24).
  3. Anze Kopitar had two assists in Thursday's win, his third multi-assist game in four games this season. Kopitar's 623 career assists are fourth-most in franchise history and his 1077 games are tied with Luc Robitaille for third-most in franchise history behind teammate Dustin Brown (1187) and Dave Taylor (1111).
  4. St. Louis lost in a shootout, 2-1, to San Jose on Wednesday going 0-for-5 on the power-play while killing all seven penalties it faced. The Blues have gone 0-for-14 with the man advantage this season, the first time since 1973-74 (five straight) that they've failed to score a power-play goal in their first four games.
  5. After being held off the scoresheet in the Blues' two-game set in Colorado, Brayden Schenn scored a goal in both games against San Jose. Schenn has multiple points in each of his last three games against the Kings, including two goals in both meetings last season.
  6. Jordan Kyrou has recorded a point in three of his four games this season and leads the Blues with four points (2g, 2a) this season. He had just nine points (4g, 5a) in 28 regular season games last season.

The revamped St. Louis Blues hope to reestablish their defensive identity when they host the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

The Blues earned points in three of their first four games. They split two road games against the Colorado Avalanche, then returned home for a victory and a shootout loss against the San Jose Sharks.

The addition of defenseman Torey Krug and Mike Hoffman via free agency and the increased role for winger Jordan Kyrou has given the Blues a new look. Kyrou (two goals, two assists) leads the team in scoring.

"There is obviously more speed and skill," Blues captain Ryan O'Reilly said. "But I think to go the distance, it's gonna be the structure, and all being on the same page and our identity. And that's outworking teams and holding onto the puck at the right times and learning how to wear teams down. When we do that, I think the other stuff will come."

The Kings also gained points in three of their first four games, all played at home. They suffered two overtime losses to the Minnesota Wild before splitting two games against the Avalanche. They won 4-2 on Thursday night.

"Even though we got a couple points in the first couple games, blowing the 3-1 leads felt like a (regulation) loss," Kings center Anze Kopitar said. "We'll take the points and to get the first 'W' on the board was big. Now, we've got to build on that and keep on rolling."

The Blues lost cornerstone defenseman Alex Pietrangelo to free agency, then they lost defensemen Robert Bortuzzo and Marco Scandella to upper-body injuries during the season's first week.

Krug replaced Pietrangelo in the lineup while veteran Carl Gunnarsson and rookie Niko Mikkola have filled in for Bortuzzo and Scandella. Bortuzzo landed on injured reserve, but Scandella returned to practice Friday.

"It's early in the year and we're coming together as a team," Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington said. "It's a unique season, there's some different situations. I think we're adapting as we go. We got a good group of guys, good leadership. Once we start clicking a little bit, it'll all come together."

Binnington (2-1-1, 2.67 goals-against average) will likely start Saturday, since he stopped 37 of 38 shots in his previous outing. Rookie Ville Husso could make his first start Sunday for the second of back-to-back games against the Kings.

Husso allowed four goals in one period at Colorado in his NHL debut on Jan. 15.

For the Kings, mainstays Kopitar (six assists) and Jeff Carter (one goal and four assists) are off to good starts on the forward lines -- as is free-agent signing Andreas Athanasiou (three goals, one assist).

Athanasiou is looking to get his career back on track after struggling last season with both the Detroit Red Wings (24 points, minus-45 rating in 46 games) and the Edmonton Oilers (two points in nine games).

The Kings will likely use both goaltenders in this back-to-back set. Veteran Jonathan Quick (1-0-2, 3.18 GAA) remains their regular starter, but the team sees a bright future for Cal Petersen (0-1-0, 3.10).

--Field Level Media

Updated January 22, 2021

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