All times Eastern; *if necessary
Game 1: Saturday, April 28 at St. Louis, 7:30 p.m (NBCSN, TSN)
Game 2: Monday, April 30 at St. Louis, 9 p.m. (CNBC, TSN)
Game 3: Thursday, May 3 at Los Angeles, 10 p.m. (NBCSN, TSN)
Game 4: Sunday, May 6 at Los Angeles, 3 p.m. (NBC, TSN)
Game 5: *Tuesday, May 8 at St. Louis, TBD
Game 6: *Thursday, May 10 at Los Angeles, TBD
Game 7: *Saturday, May 12 at St. Louis, TBD
Three storylines to follow
1. The goaltending. Based on what happened in Round 1, this series promises to be a low-scoring affair — Los Angeles’ Jonathan Quick (a Vezina nominee) allowed just eight goals in a five-game romp over Vancouver and St. Louis’ Brian Elliott allowed five in four games against San Jose.
Both Quick and Elliott finished top-five in goals against average, save percentage and shutouts during the regular season, and both represented the Western Conference at the 2012 NHL All-Star Game.
So yeah, pretty solid ‘tenders.
2. Striking similarities. The Blues and Kings are quite alike. Both underwent a in-season coaching change (Ken Hitchcock replaced Davis Payne, Darryl Sutter replaced Terry Murray), both are outstanding defensively (St. Louis led the NHL with 1.89 goals allowed per game; L.A. was second at 2.07) and both broke long playoff slumps in Round 1. The Kings won their first playoff series since 2001, the Blues their first since 2002.
3. Captains America. The series will feature an all-American battle between two of the league’s most physical forwards: Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown vs. St. Louis captain David Backes. Brown was the Kings’ driving force in Round 1, scoring four times (twice shorthanded) while averaging a point a game against. Backes was less of an offensive force — he only scored a single goal against the Sharks — but compensated by leading the team in takeaways and winning 58 percent of his faceoffs.
Records (reg. season)
No. 2 St. Louis: 49-22-11, 109 points (1st in Central) | No. 8 Los Angeles: 40-27-15, 95 points (3rd in Pacific)
Leading playoff scorers
St. Louis: Andy McDonald (4G-4A-8PTS) | Los Angeles: Dustin Brown (4G-1A-5PTS)
St. Louis: Brian Elliott (3-0, 1.37 GAA) | Los Angeles: Jonathan Quick (4-1, 1.59 GAA)
Los Angeles won season series 3-1
Oct. 18: At Los Angeles 5, St. Louis 0
Nov. 22: Los Angeles 3, at St. Louis 2
Feb. 3: At St. Louis 1, Los Angeles 0
Mar. 22: At Los Angeles 1, St. Louis 0, SO
St. Louis leads 2-0
1969: St. Louis 4-0 (West Division Semifinals)
1998: St. Louis 4-0 (Western Conference Quarterfinals)
St. Louis: Def. San Jose 4-1 (WC quarters) | L.A.: Def. Vancouver 4-1 (WC quarters)
St. Louis: Did not qualify | L.A.: Def. Lost to San Jose 4-2 (WC quarters)
St. Louis: None | Los Angeles: None
St. Louis: Jaroslav Halak (ankle) | Los Angeles: Scott Parse (hip), Kevin Westgarth (hand), Simon Gagne (concussion)