The #2 seeded St. Louis Blues, coming off a 4-1 Western Conference Quarterfinals win over the San Jose Sharks, will face the #8 seeded Los Angeles Kings, who are coming off a 4-1 series win over the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Vancouver Canucks. The Blues were 1-2-1 against the Kings this season, with the most recent game in Los Angeles on March 22, a 1-0 shootout win in which Jonathan Quick outdueled Brian Elliott. Many expect those type of games in this series.
The Blues and Kings were two of just four teams in the NHL who allowed fewer than 200 goals. In fact, they are 1-2 in goals allowed (Blues-165, LA-179). Blues captain David Backes expects a battle from the Kings. “Watch any of their games against the Canucks. They play hard every shift, they’ve got four lines that are willing to invest in the game,” Backes said. “Obviously their goaltending’s fantastic as well. We like those types of games, those one-goal games that are low-scoring. That’s our style. Hopefully we find some ways to solve Jonathan Quick. He’s a good goaltender.”
AUDIO Ken Hitchcock on the upcoming series (1:30)
Other Blues notes:
Backes, Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins and Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings were named as finalists for this year’s Frank J. Selke Trophy, an annual award given “to the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game.” The winner is selected by a vote of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association, and will be announced at the 2012 NHL Awards Show, June 20 at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.
Blues coach Ken Hitchcock announced that goalie Jaroslav Halak will not be available for the first two games of the upcoming series. Halak was injured in Game 2 against the Sharks.