Carter scores twice, Kings beat Blues 4-1
Monday, February 11, 2013
ST. LOUIS — Jeff Carter scored twice for the first time since the Stanley Cup clincher, helping the Los Angeles Kings keep the slumping St. Louis Blues down with a 4-1 victory on Monday night.
Brian Elliott has been in net the last four games of the Blues’ five-game losing streak, during which time they’ve allowed 26 goals. Elliott made 19 saves in a surprise start a day after Jaroslav Halak was activated from injured reserve, led the team onto the ice for the pregame skate and was listed on the game sheet. Halak apparently tweaked a groin strain, although the team had no comment on the switch.
Jonathan Bernier was solid with 21 saves in just his second start of the season for the Kings. Los Angeles outscored the Blues 15-6 while eliminating them in five games in the second round of the playoffs last spring en route to the Stanley Cup finals.
Davis Drewiske made it 3-0 at 13:22 of the second period with his first goal of the season on a power play. Alex Steen scored on a power play in the final minute of the second for St. Louis with Andy McDonald earning his 300th career assist.
The five-game skid is the first since Jan. 2-12, 2011, for the Blues, who began the season 6-1. It’s their first five-game losing streak at home since Jan. 23-Feb. 6, 2010.
Carter tapped in a backhander on a break-in with Slava Voynov at 8:31 of the first, just the Kings’ fifth first-period goal of the season, then got behind defenseman Ian Cole for his sixth of the season early in the second. Drewiske was wide open in the slot off a feed from Dustin Brown.
The Kings are 89-1-10 their last 100 games when leading after two periods, and got insurance on Jarrett Stoll’s second goal of the season that made it 4-1 early in the third. Voynov earned his second assist on the play.
Elliott entered the game 3-4-1 with a 3.51 goals-against average and coach Ken Hitchcock said after a 6-5 shootout loss to the Ducks on Saturday that he’d start rookie Jake Allen against Los Angeles if Halak wasn’t ready to go. Allen was assigned to Peoria, Ill., when Halak, 3-0 with a 2.10 goals-against average and two shutouts, was activated Sunday.
The Kings entered as the NHL’s lowest-scoring team and matched their season best for goals.
Notes: Carter’s last two-goal game during the regular season was March 3 against the Ducks. ... Attendance of 14,498 was the Blues’ lowest of the season, more than 4,000 shy of capacity. ... The victory was Bernier’s first since March 17, 2012, over the Predators. ... The Blues have scored on the power play in six straight games.
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