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Slumping Kings visit Blues

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Kings hope their recent mastery of the St. Louis Blues can help the club avoid its first five-game losing streak in over two years, as the teams battle Thursday night at Scottrade Center.

The Kings are mired in an 0-4-0 slide, the club's longest losing streak since a four-game skid (0-3-1) from Feb. 16-22, 2012, just a few months before Los Angeles claimed its first-ever Stanley Cup title. L.A.'s last five-game slide came earlier that season, as the Kings went 0-5-0 from Dec. 3-13, 2011.

Los Angeles, however, has won five straight in the regular season against the Blues and has won seven of eight in the series. The Kings also have won three of the past four in St. Louis.

In addition to that regular-season success, the Kings also have eliminated the Blues from the playoffs in each of the past two springs. L.A. swept St. Louis in the 2011 conference semifinals and then notched a six-game series win in the opening round last season.

The Blues, however, enter Thursday's action having won three straight and five of their last six games. With 59 points through 39 games, St. Louis is sitting second in the Central Division, three points in back of the Chicago Blackhawks, who are tied for the NHL lead with Anaheim.

Ken Hitchcock's club last played on Tuesday when it recorded a 2-1 regulation win at Minnesota. Brian Elliott turned away 24 shots for the win and came 8.3 seconds away from a shutout, as Ryan Suter scored to make it a 2-1 contest late in the third period.

Elliott also added an assist, notching the secondary helper on a goal by Jaden Schwartz. T.J. Oshie also tallied for the Blues, who have claimed eight of their last 11 games.

"Everyone is chipping in and playing hard defensively and it's paying off right now," said Schwartz.

Schwartz has scored a goal in six straight games, giving him the longest current goal streak in the NHL. The 21-year-old has 14 goals and 30 points in 37 games this season.

With Jaroslav Halak still battling an illness, Elliott expects to get a third straight start in net. Halak, who hasn't played since Saturday, is expected to be able to serve as the backup tonight.

Elliott is 0-4-1 with a 3.04 goals against average in seven career games (5 starts) against the Kings,

David Backes expects to sit out a third straight game as the veteran forward is dealing with an upper-body injury.

The Kings were dealt a 3-2 loss Tuesday in Dallas, as Tyler Seguin and Erik Cole each scored in the second period to help the Stars hand L.A. its fourth straight regulation defeat.

Ben Scrivens stopped 29 shots for the Kings, who received goals from Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar.

"I thought we played really well, we got a little bit of a bad break on the second goal and we're not scoring any goals right now," said Los Angeles head coach Darryl Sutter. "We've played well enough to win, other than the game before Christmas, we easily could've won the last three. That's the way it goes."

Carter has recorded 12 points over his last 10 games, logging six goals and six helpers during that run. He has four goals and two assists in 12 career outings against the Blues.

Martin Jones could get the call in net on Thursday and the rookie has never faced St. Louis. Scrivens is 2-0 with a 1.92 GAA in two career games against the Blues.

01/02 10:55:32 ET

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Schedule

Monday, April 21Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 4/21 7:00 PM ET
Columbus NBCSN, CBC, ROOT, FSN-OH
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Series tied, 1-1.
Colorado 4/21 7:00 PM ET
Minnesota TSN, NHL Net, Altitude
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Colorado leads series, 2-0.
St. Louis 4/21 8:30 PM ET
Chicago CNBC, CBC, FSN-MW, CSN
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. St. Louis leads series, 2-0.
Anaheim 4/21 9:30 PM ET
Dallas NBCSN, TSN, RDS
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Three. Anaheim leads series, 2-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
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