(SportsNetwork.com) – The St. Louis Blues will see what kind of encore
Vladimir Tarasenko has in store on Thursday night when they go for a sweep of
a home-and-home series with the Los Angeles Kings.
Tarasenko netted his second career hat trick in Tuesday’s 5-2 victory over the
Kings in St. Louis. He added an assist to give him six goals and four assists
over a six-game point streak while extending St. Louis’ winning streak to five
The 23-year-old’s first hat trick came at Dallas on Oct. 28 of this season and
Tarasenko is now tied for second in the NHL with 20 goals and tied for fourth
with 36 points.
“The fans were unbelievable,” said Tarasenko. “It was really nice to get my
first hat trick here at Scottrade.”
Alexander Steen added a goal on six shots and Jaden Schwartz finished with a
goal and an assist, but was lost to a bruised right foot that landed him on
injured reserve Wednesday.
Schwartz is considered week-to-week with the ailment and the Blues recalled
forward Dmitrij Jaskin from the minors to replace him on the roster.
St. Louis also was without forward T.J. Oshie on Tuesday as he missed the game
due to family reasons, but he was expected to travel to Los Angeles.
The Blues are on their second-longest winning streak of the season, behind
only a seven-game run from Oct. 25-Nov. 6, and beat the Kings for only the
third time in the last 12 regular-season meetings (3-7-2).
They are 0-3-2 in their past five trips to L.A.
Jake Allen made 21 saves in Tuesday’s win and Martin Brodeur is expected to
get the start in net tonight for the Blues. It will be his third start of the
season and Brodeur is 8-6-1 lifetime versus the Kings with a 2.13 goals
against average and .918 save percentage.
For the Kings, they went 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip despite two goals from
Marian Gaborik that gave his club an early 2-0 lead. But Jonathan Quick gave
up four goals on 22 shots faced as Los Angeles fell to 12-1-1 when leading
after two periods.
“We have to be better in the third period,” Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin said
of the Blues’ four-goal frame.
Production from Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar would help. Carter has not scored
a goal in 13 straight games, while Kopitar has just one in his last 14
Quick, meanwhile, fell to 7-9-1 in his career versus the Blues with a 2.23 GAA
and .920 save percentage. He has shut them out three times in the 17 meetings,
with 16 starts.
The good news for the Kings is they will play four straight and 11 of their
next 14 at home, where they are 11-4-1 this season compared to 4-7-5 on the