Kings-Blues: Game 5 Preview

Since we last lost to met the St. Louis Blues...

IN: With 291 man games lost to injury last year, just having the likes of T.J. Oshie and Chris Stewart back on the ice will be a welcome change. Jason Arnott and Jamie Langenbrunner provide veteran leadership to complement the Blues’ young core. Evgeny Grachev is a prospect acquired from the Rangers for a 3rd round pick. Other additions: ex-Sharks Kent Huskins and Scott Nichol, Brett Sterling, and Brian Elliot.

OUT: Cam Janssen, Tyson Strachan, Nathan Oystrick, Ty Conklin, Dean Arsene

INJURED: Andy McDonald (head); BJ Crombeen (shoulder); David Perron, Carlo Colaiacovo (concussion symptoms)

With McDonald out, veteran multitasker Alexander Steen (3 goals, 2 assists) shifts to wing and joins the top line.

Blues lineup:

Steen - Backes - Langenbrunner
Oshie - Berglund - Stewart
Sobotka - Arnott - D'Agostini
Grachev - Nichol - Porter

Huskins - Pietrangelo
Jackman - Shattenkirk
Nikitin - Polak


*Further reading: St. Louis Game Time

Kings lineup: Welcome to the deep end of the pool, Viatcheslav!




*For the last couple of years, the Kings have come off as squirrelly to me during their home openers (same goes for home playoff games); hopefully they avoid that, and the dreaded post-trip letdown, tonight. This will be their first game in So Cal since September 29th.

All eyes will be on the defense, as Alec Martinez is back in, and Voynov replaces Doughty as Mitchell’s partner. Jack Johnson had a great game against Philly last time out, leaving people to wonder if he has a magical awesome switch that gets flipped whenever Doughty is hurt (seven-game sample sizes tend to make us cling to these things). Message to JJ: if you do have a switch, just leave it ON!

The Blues come into this game trying to turn their power play around (how does a 5% conversion rate make you feel about Kompon now?), but they've made up for it with strong scoring 5v5. I doubt Kings fans need a reminder that this club is a threat after what happened last year, though.

Alex Pietrangelo and is wand-of-God touched self is still roaming the blueline, and should be a treat to watch. Game on.