The St. Louis Blues hosted the L.A. Kings for the second time in just three days. This rematch between the Blues and Kings allowed for a more equal fight. Last time out the Blues put on an offensive showcase winning 7-3. However, the Kings had just come off an overtime game in Dallas the night before. This time around, both teams had equal amount of rest and travel time. A dream start to the season for the Blues, coming into this matchup at 4-0-0 and being +11 goal difference. Meanwhile the Kings are wishing for better. They are now 1-2-1 and have suffered a few major injuries to some of their top guys. Against a familiar opponent the Kings looked to right the ship a little and get on track. Here is how Tuesday nights game between the Blues and Kings went.
After scoring within the first two minutes the past few games, the Blues looked to keep that trend going. Their offense showed some great looks and started hot but couldn’t find the back of the net early. The game pace and momentum was dictated by the Blues. Jonathan Quick, goalie for the Kings, had an answer for everything the Blues threw at him early. Quick’s offense struggled in front of him to get much going and create any momentum. The King’s also lost a defensive player with an injury early on. Sean Walker, got tied up and twisted his leg badly late in the period and was helped off the ice and didn’t return.
Clearly the Kings defence tightened down. As the second period progressed they protected their zone a lot better and only allowed a shot through the first half of the period. The momentum really shifted when rookie forward Jake Neighbors for the Blues picked up his first minor penalty. Kings offence found some rhythm and started getting some solid looks on net. Ville Husso in the Blues net played superbly through the period. Each goaltender showcased their abilities and kept this game at stalemate.
Things continued in the third just like they had been. Neither team could really break through. Finally, the Blues got one in. Vladimir Tarasenko took a feed at the line, slipped past both defenders and got it past Quick for the game’s first goal. Blues continued to control the pace. Husso kept up his end of the deal and the Blues offense continued to click. Late into the period Tarasenko got a clean breakaway this time and flicked it past Quick for his second of the night. As the game came to a close, Quick was pulled and David Perron capitalized and picked up an empty net goal. The Blues take the win 3-0 and move to a tremendous 5-0-0.
After the embarrassment of Saturday night, the Kings responded very well. Their offense showed some real potential, and Quick was overall solid even though he gave up two goals. Even with this better play it was clear they were missing a few key players. Once they return, the Kings have some potential to be a dark horse playoff team. Losing Walker early in the game made things difficult as they had to play with just 5 defensemen. The Kings head home now to take on the Winnipeg Jets Thursday.
For the Blues this game was a big moment. An opportunity to start perfect through your first five doesn’t present itself too often. They now join Carolina Hurricanes, Edmonton Oilers, and Florida Panthers as the remaining perfect start teams. Husso picked up his second career shutout. Their biggest accomplishment was certainly their special teams play. Even though they didn’t get a power play goal, they did successfully kill all three of the power plays they gave the Kings. Primarily this team is proving they can get it done at both ends of the ice. Scoring 25 in their first 5 games but only allowing 11. They now wait at home for the Colorado Avalanche to visit on Thursday night.
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