Looking forward to Game 1 between the Kings and Blues in St. Louis

History lesson: The Kings swept the Blues 4-0 in the second round of the playoffs last season en route to their first Stanley Cup championship. The Kings limited the Blues to only six goals in the series and blanked them on 17 power-play chances. The Kings then swept three games during the 2012-13 regular-season from the Blues, outscoring them 14-7. Overall, the Kings have won eight consecutive games against St. Louis.

Facts and figures: The Kings (27-16-5 in the regular season) are seeded fifth in the Western Conference and the Blues (29-17-2) are seeded fourth.

Leaders: Anze Kopitar led the Kings with 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists). Jeff Carter scored a team-leading 26 goals. Goaltender Jonathan Quick was 18-13-4 with a 2.45 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage. Chris Stewart led the Blues with 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists). Stewart also was their leading goal-scorer. Goaltender Brian Elliott was 14-8-1 with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.

Keys to victory: For the Kings, their combination of physical defense, strong goaltending and timely scoring served them well last spring during their run to the Stanley Cup. It was what guided them to fifth place in the Western Conference this season and it will be what could produce a victory over the Blues in the first round of the playoffs. For the Blues, they must eliminate the undisciplined play that sometimes characterizes their team. They must also rely heavily on Elliott in goal. He was the reason they finished fourth in the West. He was 11-2-0 with a 1.28 goals against average and three shutouts in April and gave up one goal or less in 10 of his final 13 appearances of the regular season.





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