Kings-Blues Game 5 Preview: Best of Three

Harry How

The Kings try to channel some of last season's road magic, as the evened-up series heads back to St Louis.

Los Angeles Kings v St Louis Blues (Scottrade Center)

Time: 6.00 PM

TV: CBC, NHL Network, CNBC, RDSI, Fox Sports West

Enemy reading: St Louis Game Time

Previous series coverage: Preview | Game 1 | Game 2 | Game 3 | Game 4

Blues (projected) lineup:

Schwartz-Backes-Steen
Perron-Berglund-Oshie
McDonald-Sobotka-Stewart
Cracknell-Porter-Reaves

Pietrangelo-Bouwmeester
Shattenkirk-Leopold
Jackman-Polak

Elliott

Injured: Langenbrunner; Scratched: Grachev, Jaskin, Murray, Nichol, Tarasenko, Chorney, Cole, Hakanpaa, Russell, Woywitka

Kings (projected) lineup:

Brown-Kopitar-Williams
King-Richards-Carter
Penner-Stoll-Lewis
Clifford-Fraser-???

Regehr-Doughty
Muzzin-Scuderi/Voynov
Martinez/Ellerby-Scuderi

Quick

Injured: Mitchell, Greene; Scratched: Richardson, Nolan, Toffoli

Game notes:

  • I'm guessing Vladimir Tarasenko is scratched and Adam Cracknell is back in the lineup, after Tarasenko had a fairly ineffectual game 4, and the Kings very visibly rolled right over the Blues' bottom line. Don't think the Blues will make any other personnel changes, although the lines might shift slightly after two straight losses.
  • I still think something needs to be done about Colin Fraser. He's not playing particularly well, and the seven defencemen model Coach Sutter has adopted in order to balance the deficiencies of the bottom line (and of Fraser in particular) won't be sustainable for much longer. I'd like to see Brad Richardson and Tyler Toffoli back in the lineup, but given the Kings' dominant performance last game, I doubt that happens.
  • If the Kings want to continue their comeback, Jonathan Quick will need to rebound from his poorest outing thus far in the playoffs. His goaltending on Monday reminded me a bit of Game 5 against the Coyotes, not just because of the score, but because of the cardiac arrest-inducing mixture of highlight reel saves and inexplicable soft goals.
  • The Kings sorted out some of their power play woes, and also played with much more discipline in game four, only to see the penalty kill fall apart. I would really like to see a game in this series where the Kings finally manage to get all their special teams business working smoothly at the same time (I miss you, 2012 - call me). Given the general goal-scoring difficulty in this series, special teams will likely continue to be a disproportionately significant factor.
  • Prediction: Kings win, 3-1. Justin Williams continues to be handsome and excellent. David Perron gets mauled for continuing to be such a little shitbag. Barret Jackman can't believe his team coughed up a 2-0 series lead or that his parents named him something as stupid as Barret-with-one-t.
    Wuhwhat_medium_medium
  • KINGS IN SIX.
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