Los Angeles Kings (9-1-1 SU, 9-2 PL, 4-6-1 O/U) vs. St. Louis Blues (9-2-1 SU, 9-3 PL, 6-6 O/U)
NHL: Monday, October 30, 2017, at 8:00 p.m. EST
The Line: St. Louis Blues -125/Los Angeles Kings +105. Total: 5.5
The Los Angeles Kings are the best team in hockey heading into a road date with the St. Louis Blues at the Scottrade Center on Monday night. Los Angeles is tied for the NHL lead in points and owns the best record at 9-1-1 through 11 contests. The Blues are one of two other teams tied with the L.A., although they have lost twice (9-2-1) in 12 games.
The Kings have equaled their best 11-game start to a season in franchise history and now the Pacific Division leaders will try to keep things going against the best of the Central Division. This concludes a six-game road trip for Los Angeles, which saw Tyler Toffoli turn in a two-goal performance during a 2-1 victory over Boston on Saturday. Toffoli scored immediately fllowing a face-off with less than a second remaining in overtime.
“You can say it’s luck. You can say it’s good bounces. But at the same time, we’re working hard, we’re working for those bounces,” captain Anze Kopitar commented.
Kopitar, who has recorded 41 points (12 goals, 29 assists) in 39 career games against St. Louis notched an assist for his team-leading 13th point on Saturday and is well above pace to surpass his 52-point season in 2016-17. Louis. Goalie Jonathan Quick has distanced himself from an injury-riddled campaign last season with a stellar start this month, allowing just one goal in his last two games while improving his save percentage (.946) and goals-against average (1.76) in the process.
The Blues remain the NHL’s lone undefeated team at home in 2017-18. Like the Kings, St. Louis off to a flying start and improved to 5-0-1 in its last six by winning the opener of a four-game home-stand 4-1 over Columbus on Saturday. Fourth-liner Scottie Upshall registered his first three-point performance in nearly three years with a goal and two assists as St. Louis claimed its ninth win in its first 12 games to a season for the sixth time in franchise history and first since 2010-11.
The Blues are receiving an offensive jolt from Vladimir Sobotka, who cleaned up a rebound to score his first goal of the season and earn his fourth point (one goal, three assists) in five games late in the first period on Saturday. The 30-year-old Czech, who has produced all eight of his points (one goal, seven assists) in the Blues’ nine wins this season, has scored twice in 13 contests since returning to the club from the Kontinental Hockey League toward the end of last season.
The Los Angeles Kings are:
- 2-5 in their last seven road games against teams with home winning percentages over .600
- 1-10 in their last 11 Monday games
- 1-4 in their last five games against St. Louis
The St. Louis Blues are:
- 36-17 in their last 53 overall
- 6-0 in their last six home games
- 4-1 in their last five games against the Western Conference
Quick has not been great against the Blues, who are 13-8 against him. St. Louis’ Jaden Schwartz, who leads the team in goals (seven) and points (15), scored and set up a goal against L.A. last season and has seven points (three goals, four assists) in 12 career encounters with the Kings. Los Angeles is 2-5 in its last seven on the road against opponents with home winning percentages over .600 and 1-10 in its last 11 on Mondays. The Blues are 36-17 in their last 53 overall, 6-0 in their last six at home, 4-1 in their last five against the Western Conference, 6-2 in their last eight following a win, 6-2 in their last eight against the Pacific Division, 5-2 in their last seven against opponents with winning percentages over .600, and 4-1 in the last five meetings between the two teams. Look for those trends to continue.