Game 42; 25-13-4
ST. LOUIS – After four-straight losses to close out 2013, the Los Angeles Kings paid a visit to the Scottrade Center hoping to start off 2014 the right way as they played the St. Louis Blues, a team they had a great deal of success against in recent years. On this night, however, the Kings weren’t so lucky.
Entering Thursday night, the Kings were hoping to shake off recent offensive woes in addition to a lack of discipline. But just 1:58 into the game, Matt Greene received a double-minor for high-sticking – and the Blues took advantage.
At the 4:42 mark of the first, newly-named US Olympian Kevin Shattenkirk took a point shot that took a lucky bounce off the side of the net where Brenden Morrow batted it in to put the Blues out in front. Despite being outshot 13-6 in the opening frame, St. Louis escaped with the 1-0 lead.
At 11:41 of the second, with the Kings penalized again, TJ Oshie, fresh off his being named to the US Olympic team, scored to put the Blues up by a pair. After allowing two goals on 14 shots, Martin Jones was pulled for the first time in his NHL career. Ben Scrivens relieved him but fared no better.
Just 1:31 later, Oshie struck again with his second of the night. 3-0 St. Louis.
3:24 into the third, Vladimir Tarasenko added to the fun by making it 4-0 and then Barret Jackman scored his first of the year less than three minutes later to put the Blues up by five.
As fluid as St. Louis’s offense was on this night, however, their goaltending was just as notable. Brian Elliott, who has had his share of struggles against Los Angeles in recent memory, showed no ill effects on this night as he stopped all 30 shots to earn his third shutout of the season. It was an overall fantastic showing by the St. Louis Blues as they cruise to their fourt-straight victory. The Los Angeles Kings, on the other hand, were not so fortunate.
With four shots and four hits, defenseman Willie Mitchell was arguably the best player on the ice for the Kings on Thursday, but his efforts provided minimal consolation as the silver-and-black were simply outworked all night by a more determined Blues squad. While the 5-0 defeat was their most lopsided loss of the season so far, this was a game the Kings frankly did not deserve to be a part of, much less win.
While taking five penalties doesn’t exactly elevate them to goon status, the Los Angeles Kings were penalized too early and too often as the Blues wasted little time exposing them of their recent faults.
Overall, a night to forget and a road trip so dismal, everyone will be happy as anything just to move on.
Speaking of moving on, the Kings finally return home where they will host the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.