Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/3/13
They weren't going to come right out and say that they played down to the level of their opponents the other night. Hockey players, after all, are unfailingly polite when they aren't on the ice. But the Kings nicely tweaked it the other way after Saturday's flop against Calgary and said they would have no problems getting up for the St. Louis Blues. Truth. The Blues, a familiar playoff foe, are simply the regular-season healing agent for the Kings. On Monday, the Kings scored twice in the first period, built on that effort and barely held on, beating St. Louis, 3-2, at Staples Center. It was their seventh victory over the Blues in their last eight regular-season meetings. Meanwhile, the Kings have given up two goals or fewer in the last 13 games, a franchise record. "The past couple of games we didn't play our game at home," said Kings forward Tyler Toffoli, who scored twice. "Tonight, we needed to make a statement against a good team, a similar team to us. We had to come out hard, play the body and I thought we did a good job of that." Goalie Ben Scrivens, who faced 27 shots, came within 5 minutes 54 seconds of his fourth shutout of the season. But St. Louis defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who was wide open in the left circle, ended that bid after a nifty cross-ice pass from Vladimir Tarasenko. It was the second goal of the season for Shattenkirk, who struggled in a big way at the other end. He was on the ice for all three Kings goals. The combination of Shattenkirk and Tarasenko worked to create the other St. Louis goal with Tarasenko scoring with 15.5 seconds remaining. "They put on some pressure and I think we laid off a little too much," said Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin. Scrivens and the Kings managed to shut down star forward Alex Steen, who has been among the league's scoring leaders with 20 goals and 31 points. Steen had been held without a point only four times before Monday and mustered three shots on goal. Unlike the Flames game, Scrivens got some early help as the Kings' recent, near-dormant offense returned in a big rush.
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