The last time the St. Louis Blues defeated the Los Angeles Kings, it was to take a 2-0 series lead in their first-round playoff match-up.
And then it all fell apart — the Blues dropped four straight to the Kings and were eliminated from the 2013 postseason, just like that.
Three of those four straight defeats — including the final one — occurred at the Staples Center, the L.A. arena where the two Western Conference contenders will meet tonight for the first time in 2013-14.
“I think we were really deflated after (the playoffs) last year,” Blues d-man Kevin Shattenkirk said, per the Post-Dispatch. “We poured in an effort that we thought was the right one, that was enough to win. And we didn’t come out on the right side of it. I think we were proud of the way we played, more so than the year before. But for that reason it hurt even more because we didn’t get the result.”
So maybe “fell apart” isn’t quite accurate. All six games in that series were decided by a single goal.
But “fell apart” wouldn’t be an unfair way of describing the Blues’ effort in the first period Friday in San Jose, where the Sharks took a 4-0 lead after the opening frame was barely half over. St. Louis came back to make a game of it, but as David Backes almost comically put it, “If you give any good team a four-goal lead, you’re asking for a loss.”
Meanwhile, with just one win in their last five tries, the Kings suffered their own frustrating, humbling defeat in their last outing. On Saturday, they dropped a 2-1 decision at home to Calgary after Flames forward Mike Cammalleri scored with just 23 seconds remaining to break the deadlock.
Even the best goalie in the world – one who makes it look easy – can lose his cool sometimes.
(Heck, that used to be the domain of Patrick Roy, right?)
It was quite the sight on Thursday nonetheless: Carey Price absolutely lost his cool and went after Kyle Palmieri during the Montreal Canadiens’ game against the New Jersey Devils. You can watch that spectacle in the video above.
Palmieri received an interference penalty while Price received a roughing double-minor. Apparently fits of Price anger are rare:
Carey Price loses it?! That's like seeing a unicorn.
Sometimes it feels like John Tavares is alone on an island. Even during such grimmer times, there are moments where it seems like he can do it all by himself, anyway.
The New York Islanders have been quietly getting it back together lately (4-0-1 in their last five games), with Tavares averaging a point per contest during that span. Still, he’s obviously been getting some help lately.
If you want an “all by himself” moment, look no further than the goal above, where he just out-efforts everyone. It’s an unusual sight, although especially jaded people may just come to expect this type of thing from Tavares. He’s that great.
Niskanen will miss at least one game from that Bergeron hit
The Capitals consider the valuable blueliner day-to-day with an upper-body injury and noted that he won’t travel to Buffalo for Friday’s game against the Sabres.
That only tells us so much, as the Capitals will face the Vancouver Canucks at home in their next game after that on Sunday. If that’s all he ends up missing, that wouldn’t be too huge of an issue. CSN Mid-Atlantic notes that he’s played in every game (all 189) since joining the Capitals, so he’s been healthy so far in his stay with Washington.
Washington called up defenseman Aaron Ness to help give them some depth.
As you may recall, Bergeron received a two-minute boarding minor for the check in question.
Bruised Blackhawks will be without Seabrook, Toews vs. Rangers