This is the first of three meetings between Los Angeles and St. Louis this season. After tonight, the two teams will meet on Tuesday, March 5 at Staples Center and Thursday, March 28 at Scottrade Center.

Lots more after the jump…

Last year, the Kings finished 3-1-0 against the Blues, going 2-0 at home (with one win in a shootout) and 1-1 on the road. Los Angeles out-scored St. Louis – taking into account the shootout goal – 9-3 in the season series. Jonathan Quick had two shutouts against the Blues last season – allowing one goal in three games – but is not expected to start. Jonathan Bernier, who earned second star honors by stopping 23 of 25 shots in a 3-2 win at Scottrade Center on November 22, 2011, is expected to start. His only other start against St. Louis was the second start (and first loss) of his career, which came less than two months after his 19th birthday. He stopped 27 of 31 shots in a 5-3 home loss to the Blues on October 6, 2007.

Jaroslav Halak will get the start for St. Louis and owns a career record of 6-2-0 with a 1.70 GAA and .935 save percentage against the Kings, numbers that include a two-period performance in Los Angeles’ home opener last season when he made 14 saves on 18 shots. Jake Allen was considered for the start tonight, but Halak was able to come off injured reserve, where he had been since February 1 with a groin strain. Allen was reassigned to AHL-Peoria; Brian Elliott isn’t providing quite the same balance as a season ago and now appears more like a back-up to Halak than a platoon partner with an .853 save percentage on the season.

St. Louis is winless on the current homestand, going 0-2-1. They are winless in four games overall – with Saturday’s shootout loss to Anaheim representing the lone point they’ve earned – and have been outscored 22-10 while their record has dropped from 6-1-0 to 6-4-1. The Blues open a three-game road trip in Detroit on Wednesday.

Rankings and Statistics:

Goals/Game: LAK – t-25 / 2.10; STL – t-3 / 3.36
Goals Against/Game: LAK – t-21 / 3.00; STL – 24 / 3.18
Power Play: LAK – 27 / 10.9%; STL – 1 / 36.6%
Penalty Kill: LAK – 17 / 79.6%; STL – 25 / 75.0%
Shots/Game: LAK – 8 / 30.8; STL – t-6 / 30.9
Shots Against/Game: LAK – 2 / 25.2; STL – 1 / 22.2
Faceoffs: LAK – t-19 / 49.0%; STL – t-19 / 49.0%

Projected Lines – Los Angeles

Simon Gagne – Anze Kopitar – Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford – Jeff Carter – Justin Williams
Dwight King – Mike Richards – Jordan Nolan
Dustin Penner – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis

Keaton Ellerby – Drew Doughty
Rob Scuderi – Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez – Davis Drewiske

Jonathan Bernier
Jonathan Quick

Notes: Dustin Penner is likely in tonight as a left wing, though it is unclear which line he’ll join. Because of the strong performances by Kyle Clifford and Dwight King in Sunday’s game against Detroit, I’m slotting Penner in on the Jarret Stoll line, opposite Trevor Lewis. Jewels from the Crown has a different projection. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Projected Lines – St. Louis

Andy McDonald – David Backes – T.J. Oshie
David Perron – Alex Steen – Vladimir Tarasenko
Vladimir Sobotka – Patrik Berglund – Chris Stewart
Matt D’Agostini – Scott Nichol – Ryan Reaves

Ian Cole – Alex Pietrangelo
Barrett Jackman – Kevin Shattenkirk
Wade Redden – Roman Polak

Jaroslav Halak
Brian Elliott

Notes: Jamie Langenbrunner is out for the season with a torn labrum in his left hip. Jaroslav Halak was reinstated from injured reserve and will make his first start since February 1. Promising rookie Jaden Schwartz, who has one assist in nine games and played on Saturday against Anaheim, is a projected scratch. As always, line pairings are educated assessments and not definite alignments.

Quotes

Dustin Brown, on facing a team L.A. eliminated on the playoffs a season ago:
“For us, it’s just another game. Especially in the situation we’ve put ourselves in early on in the season, we have to get off to a good start tonight. It’s going to be the same approach for us as it was in Detroit.”

Dustin Brown, on whether there may be “fireworks at the get-go”:
“I think every time we play the Blues, it’s a pretty physical game. But in saying that, both teams are struggling and need points badly. There’s going to be passion, like in physicality, but I don’t think there’s going to be anything over the top where guys are going to be putting themselves ahead of their teams.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
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.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS