St. Louis Blues vs. Los Angeles Kings Pick & Prediction JANUARY 28th 2024

The St. Louis Blues will try to run their winning streak to a season-best five games when they host the struggling Los Angeles Kings on Sunday afternoon.

The Blues are coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Seattle Kraken on Friday to cap a successful three-game road trip.

“At home or on the road, we just want to give ourselves a chance (to) win hockey games,” Blues coach Drew Bannister said. “These are big points.”

Los Angeles, meanwhile, limps into the St. Louis after losing 5-1 at the Colorado Avalanche on Friday to kick off its three-game road trip.

The Kings have stumbled badly since coming out of the Christmas break, going 2-8-5 in their past 15 games to leave them teetering on the final playoff spot with St. Louis just one point behind.

“It’s getting hard to get our pace and our confidence going into the game, and we have to get back to trusting each other,” Kings forward Phillip Danault said. “Running out of solutions.”

When the Kings beat the visiting Blues 5-1 on Nov. 18, they were playing their best hockey of the season, but systematic failures at both ends of the ice have sent them spiraling.

“I think just the little details that we had going at the start of the year have gotten a little more lax,” Los Angeles defenseman Mikey Anderson said. “All the way through, starting maybe with the back end. We talk about breakouts and then it kind of leads its way up to everything else. Obviously, we know we have a good group in here, we have the right pieces, but at the same time, we’ve got to start taking ownership of it as a group and then turning this around.”

The Blues have recently shown the type of resiliency that the Kings displayed in their first 25 games.

Twice on the recently concluded road trip, St. Louis rallied from two goals down to earn a victory.

“We’re committed more to the standards that we’re asking from our guys and we’re starting to see that,” Bannister said. “And that has to do with resiliency, but I think guys are just more focused on what they can control right now, and the things that we can’t control aren’t a distraction.”

St. Louis is also 11-1-2 in games decided by one goal, the best winning percentage (78.6) in the NHL.

“We want to put ourselves in position to win hockey games, and the only way you do that is going into the third period where you’re even, tied or ahead by one,” Bannister said. “That’s at home or on the road here, we want to give ourselves a chance.”

Pavel Buchnevich scored the overtime winner against the Kraken on Friday and finished with two goals and an assist. He also scored in a 4-3 overtime win at the Vancouver Canucks on Wednesday.

“I’ve just got to hit the net lately,” he said. “I’ve missed the net a lot, so it’s good I hit the net right now.”

St. Louis forward Robert Thomas said Buchnevich seems to be playing with a lot of confidence.

“When you’re not able to find the net much, the net gets smaller and the goalies get bigger,” Thomas said. “Goals happen when you have confidence.”

–Field Level Media

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