The Kings are scheduled to return to practice this morning in El Segundo sometime around 10:30-10:45 a.m., in preparation for their second-round series against St. Louis. Approximately 1,800 miles away, the Blues are preparing as well, and based on what he’s saying in the media, Blues coach Ken Hitchcock is already doing some mental work with his players, trying to get them into the proper mindset. Hitchcock yesterday said that the Kings “play real nasty,” intending that as a high compliment. Blues forward T.J. Oshie followed suit, as he said, “I think the more physical team is going to win. Whoever plays the most physical the longest is going to get the job done.” Of course, that’s no surprise. Both teams are strong defensive teams, and the Kings could say much the same about the Blues.

It appears that Brian Elliott will get the call in goal for the first two games against the Kings. Jaroslav Halak is recovering from an ankle injury, and the Blues have said that Halak will miss the first two games of the series. In the regular season, Halak played 46 games, with a 26-12-7 record, a 1.97 goals-against average, a .926 save percentage and six shutouts, while Elliott played 38 games, with a 23-10-4 record, a 1.56 goals-against average, a .940 save percentage and nine shutouts. In the first round against San Jose, Elliott went 3-0. For a pre-series primer on the Blues, here are a couple stories from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Blues vs. Kings: A `nasty’ series is forecast

Halak to rest at least two more games

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Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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