Kings vs. Blues: looking back

This will be the third playoff series all-time between the Kings and the St. Louis Blues. The Blues won 4-0 in the 1969 semifinals and 4-0 in the 1998 first round. This season, in four regular-season meetings the Kings went 3-1-0, with one win coming in a shootout. Three of the four games had different coaching matchups. It started with the Kings’ Terry Murray and the Blues’ Davis Payne, followed by Murray and Ken Hitchcock, and finally two games with Darryl Sutter and Hitchcock. Here’s a brief recap of each of this season’s games…

Oct. 18 at Staples Center: Kings 5, Blues 0
In their Staples Center home opener, Jonathan Quick made 27 saves for the first of his 10 shutouts this season. The Kings took the lead 7:20 into the game, when Simon Gagne knocked in his own rebound. The Kings took control when Dustin Brown scored a 5-on-3 goal with less than five minutes remaining in the second period, and then Anze Kopitar scored 23 seconds into the third period for a 4-0 lead. Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak allowed all five goals.

Nov. 22 at Scottrade Center: Kings 3, Blues 2
The Blues came into the game with a six-game unbeaten streak in regulation, but the Kings pulled out the road win with a tense third period. The Kings took a 2-1 lead 4:41 into the third period, when Mike Richards’ one-timer from the slot beat Halak, but the Blues tied the game with 7:32 remaining on Vladimir Sobotka’s goal. Less than two minutes later, though, Willie Mitchell’s shot got deflected and beat Halak, and Jonathan Bernier held on to get the win for the Kings.

Feb. 3 at Scottrade Center: Blues 1, Kings 0
At the start of their annual “Grammy tip,” the Kings recorded only 21 shots on goal and got shut out by Halak. Quick stopped 32 shots, but the Blues’ only goal, 8:38 into the second period, held up. Matt D’Agostini fought past a hip-check attempt by Drew Doughty and started a 2-on-1 with Jamie Langenbrunner. D’Agostini passed, and Langenbrunner scored on a one-timer.

March 22 at Staples Center: Kings 1, Blues 0 (shootout)
The Blues outshot the Kings 12-3 in the first period, but the Kings got things turned around in the final two periods. In a goalie battle between Quick (35 saves) and Brian Elliott (37 saves), the scoreless game went to a shootout. Mike Richards and T.J. Oshie both scored in the second round. In the fourth round, Jeff Carter scored and then Quick stopped Chris Stewart.

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