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Kings at Blues preview: Will the special teams show their stuff?

NHL: Los Angeles Kings at St. Louis Blues Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Blues have a three game winning streak against the Kings that stretches back to, of course, last season. The Kings weren’t a playoff team last year, finishing second to last in the Pacific Division, but they did string together an impressive seven game winning streak to close the year. They’re rebuilding still, but are also aging. Their veteran core - Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty, Jeff Carter, and Jonathan Quick are an all-star team of players born in the 1980s. Sadly, in hockey player years, that is old (it is not old to the author, however, who refuses to admit what that would say about her age).

Last year, Kopitar netted 21 goals and 62 points, while Brown added 17 goals and 35 points to the team’s tally. Jeff Carter scored 17 goals as well. Drew Doughty is still in annual discussions for the Norris Trophy. Jonathan Quick started 42 games last year. Their aging core is aging, but they’re still not to be underestimated - and with the season shortened to 56 games this season, underestimating any opponent could easily cost the Blues two points.

The Kings beat the Avalanche 4-2 on Thursday night for their first win of the season. The Blues lost in a shootout Wednesday night to the San Jose Sharks. The Blues looked significantly tighter on Wednesday, with their penalty kill being perfect for the first time this season and Jordan Binnington stopping 37 of 38 SOG. The Blues dominated on the face-off and totaled 13 blocked shots, but when you don’t score more than one goal, it’s tough to win in today’s NHL.

The power play still hasn’t scored this season, but don’t worry, the Blues know it needs work and have been focusing on fixing it during practice. As powerful as it should be, it’s been a source of consternation for the team and could’ve won them their last game against San Jose.

In their last three games against Los Angeles, the Blues have outscored them 13-3. Tonight would be a great opportunity to wake up that power play and to get a player not named Jordan Kyrou, Brayden Schenn, Oskar Sundqvist, or Justin Faulk onto the scoresheet in the goal column.