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Preview: Kings visit St. Louis, reminder of how time changes

NHL: St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch

Game Time: 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time

TV: Fox Sports West

Radio: iHeart Radio

The Opposition: St. Louis Game Time

What to Watch

The Los Angeles Kings visit the St. Louis Blues. Now, put your hand on your chest and admit that the first thing coming to your mind with the Kings’ visit to St. Louis is not the Stanley Cup. You will most likely fail. The Kings indeed visit the reigning Stanley Cup champions.

Tonight, it will be the battle of reminders. Last time the Kings visited St. Louis, it was November 19th of 2018. The Kings were dead-last around that time in the season with only 13 points. The Blues were right above them with just 17 points.

Was it that famous “tanking” matchup? The Kings beat the Blues that night with a 2-0 final. Matt Luff scored his first NHL goal past Jake Allen. How can time change in such quick order? Would you ever guess, at that point, that these Blues will win the Stanley Cup later that season with Jordan Binnington in the net? In November, Binnington was still forgotten in the AHL.

While the Blues somehow improved to the Stanley Cup champions, the Kings remained low in the standings. Today’s game reminds the Kings of their last visit to the Enterprise Center from 11 months ago. Time flies rather quickly, right?

After the Kings’ 2-0 win over the Blues, St. Louis fired Mike Yeo and appointed Craig Berube as their interim head coach. The rest is history. (Why couldn’t firing the head coach have worked as excellently for the Kings, huh?)

Later on last season, the Kings played the Blues two more times. In January, Los Angeles won 4-3, facing Binnington. In March, Allen recorded a shutout in a 4-0 win at Staples Center for the visitors. The Kings have won their past two contests in St. Louis. The other one came in a 4-1 fashion in December 2017.

The Kings are near St. Louis in the standings. If the Kings beat the Blues in regulation tonight, they will be only one point short of their 11 points total.

The Kings will have some top guys to handle tonight. Vladimir Tarasenko leads the Blues with 10 points, while Brayden Schenn is second on the team in points with nine. Schenn signed a long-term contract extension at the beginning of this season; so far, it has paid dividends for them. Defenseman Justin Faulk was the Blues’ surprising off-season acquisition.

Everything around this Blues team breathes the Stanley Cup atmosphere, especially when the Blues visit Boston on Saturday. On Monday, the Blues beat the Avalanche to end their four-game skid, which was believed to be a Cup party hangover. However, the Blues’ play at the start of this season is not as strong. The Kings will certainly get their look tonight as they ride their two-game winning streak.

Facing the Jets on Tuesday, the Kings pretty much dominated the flow of the play right from the start. This Blues team will come at them physically, the Kings have to employ their speed rather early in the tilt.

Projected Kings Lineup

Iafallo-Kopitar-Brown
Carter-Lizotte-Toffoli
Kovalchuk-Kempe-Lewis
Clifford-Amadio-Wagner

Hutton-Doughty
Martinez-Walker
MacDermid-Roy

Quick
Campbell

Projected Blues Lineup:

Schwartz-Schenn-Tarasenko
Steen-O’Reilly-Perron
Sanford-Bozak-Thomas
MacEachern-Barbashev-Sundqvist

Parayko-Pietrangelo
Bouwmeester-Faulk
Dunn-Bortuzzo

Binnington
Allen