(AP) -- The St. Louis Blues fulfilled high expectations through their first seven games of the season, but have been on a downward spiral since and it's not difficult to see why.
The Blues hope Jaroslav Halak's return can help them end a four-game losing streak Monday night when they host the Los Angeles Kings in the teams' first meeting since last season's Western Conference semifinals.
Halak was the one of the key pieces in St. Louis' impressive start, going 3-0-0 with a 2.10 goals-against average and two shutouts before suffering a groin strain in a 5-3 loss at Detroit on Feb. 1. That ended the Blues' four-game win streak and started the current skid, with Brian Elliott struggling to match Halak in net.
Elliott allowed five goals on 23 shots in a 6-5 shootout loss to Anaheim on Saturday, then four more on six shots in the tiebreaker. He is 0-3-1 with a 4.87 GAA in four appearances this month after leading the NHL with a 1.56 mark last season.
Coach Ken Hitchcock said Saturday...