St. Louis Blues vs. Los Angeles Kings - 1/2/14
Los Angeles Kings (25-12-4) at St. Louis Blues (27-7-5)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, January 2, 2014 at 8:00 pm (Scottrade Center)
The Line: St. Louis Blues -136 / Los Angeles Kings +124 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
TV: FS-W, FS-MW
A beat up St. Louis Blues squad hosts the Los Angeles Kings, who are hungry to get back in the win column, at the Scott Trade Center in St. Louis.
The Kings enter Thursday’s contest with the Blues on a four game skid, the most recent loss coming in Dallas to the Stars. Kings’ starting goalie, Jonathan Quick, who was just named to the USA Olympic team, has been sidelined with a groin injury since November. Rookie Martin Jones stepped up and filled in admirably subsequent to Quick’s injury, but recently Jones has regressed to the mean. Now, Jones and co-backup Ben Scrivens have rotated starts in hopes of finding the hot hand. Both Jones and Scrivens are 0-2 in their last two starts, respectively.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
Jaden Schwartz has watched line mates go down in droves of late, but Schwartz has put the Blues on his back. Already missing leading scorer Alex Steen and captain David Backes, the Blues saw another prolific scorer in Chris Steward go down with an injury in the 2-1 win against the Minnesota Wild. Steward left Tuesday night’s game after being hit in the face by a puck, and he is questionable for tonight’s game against the Kings. Nevertheless, as mentioned, Schwartz has carried the offensive load in impressive fashion with goals in six straight games, which has catapulted him into a tie for third on the team in points at 30.
The home team in this matchup is 6-1 in the last seven meetings, but the Kings are 15-3 in the last 18 meetings overall. However, the Kings have struggled recently against Western Conference opponents, going winless in the last four games against such teams. In the first meeting of the season between the Blues and Kings we saw the Blues fall 3-2 in Los Angeles. Here, I think we see a low scoring game, but I think St. Louis hasn’t forgotten the previous meeting in early December. Honestly, I don’t love going against a good team in the Kings that is on its longest losing streak of the season, but even an injury plagued Blues team is a side I would favor on home ice.