Jan 16, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT
Tonight on NBCSN, it’s the St. Louis Blues hosting the Los Angeles Kings starting at 8 p.m. ET. Following are some game notes, as compiled by the NHL on NBC research team:
• On Jan. 14, the Kings traded away goaltender Ben Scrivens to Edmonton for a 2014 third-round pick. With Scrivens gone, the Kings called up rookie Martin Jones to back up Jonathan Quick, who’s returned to start the Kings’ last five games after missing 24 games with a groin injury.
• All season, goaltending and defense have not been a problem for the Kings. They currently have the lowest goals allowed (93) and goals allowed per game (1.98), rank third in fewest shots allowed per game (27.1) and first in team save percentage (.927).
• On the other side of things, the Blues are tied for league lead in goals per game (3.53) and tied for second in goals (159). The Blues are also the league’s 3rd-stingiest team (2.18 goals against per game), for easily the league’s best goal differential (+1.35). (Anaheim is 2nd, +1.06) The Blues have allowed two or fewer goals in eight consecutive games, their longest such streak since a 10-game run Feb. 23-March 11, 2012.
• Beginning tonight, the Kings will play their next eight games away from the Staples Center, first embarking on a season-long five-game road trip (before facing Anaheim at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25). Despite a respectable road record this season (12-8-2), LA has struggled of late, losing their last five road games, all in regulation. The Kings’ last road win was in Chicago on Dec. 15, a 3-1 victory over the Blackhawks. LA’s next true home game at the Staples Center will not be until Jan. 30, against Pittsburgh (9 games/15 days from now).
• St. Louis is one of the strongest teams at home this season (18-3-2), and has won their last five games on home ice (outscoring their opponents 23-9) to tie a season-best stretch at home, including a 5-0 win over LA on Jan 2. The last time they won six straight home games was when they won their last six regular-season home games a season ago. St. Louis is behind only Anaheim (20-0-2) & Pittsburgh (20-3-0) for the best home record in the NHL.
• The Blues (Brian Elliott, Jaroslav Halak) are one of two teams, along with New Jersey, with two goaltenders who have each posted three shutouts this season. The Kings were members of that group until yesterday’s trade. (LA’s Martin Jones has three shutouts, Jonathan Quick has two; as a team, the Kings have a league-leading 8 shutouts.)
• 10 Blues players will represent their countries in Sochi, tying Chicago and Detroit for the most among all teams. The Olympians will represent six different nations. Only Montreal (eight players for six nations) has as broad of an Olympic representation, among all NHL teams.
- Bruins sign three — Hayes, Connolly, and DeFazio 11
- Babcock expects Kadri to be ‘an elite player’ 14
- No expansion bid expected from Kansas City 33
- Leafs sign Matthias — one year, $2.3 million 17
- Report: Kopitar, Kings in ‘early stages of negotiations’ for extension 12
- Arbitration filed: Holtby, Nyquist & Stepan highlight list released by NHLPA 13
- Report: Plotnikov paid $500K to get out of KHL contract 14
- Philadelphia signs ’15 first rounder Provorov 12
- Brandon Saad brings championship experience to Blue Jackets 22
- Sharks sign Joel Ward to three-year deal 25