(1) Blues vs. (8) Kings
Blues Leading Regular Season Scorer: Chris Stewart, 36 points (18 goals, 18 assists).
Kings Leading Regular Season Scorer: Anze Kopitar, 42 points (10 goals, 32 assists).
Blues Expected Starting Goaltender: Brian Elliott, 14-8-1, 2.28 GAA, .907 SV%.
Kings Expected Starting Goaltender: Jonathan Quick, 18-13-4, 2.45 GAA, .902 SV%.
Blues Injuries: Defenseman Barrett Jackman (defenseman) and center T.J. Oshie (foot) are probable. Center Scott Nichol ("lower body") is out. Right winger Jamie Langenbrunner (hip) is on injured reserve
Kings Injuries: Defenseman Matt Greene (back) is doubtful. Defenseman Willie Mitchell (knee) is on injured reserve.
Blues with Stanley Cup bling: Jamie Langenbrunner, RW; Andy McDonald, C; .
Kings with Stanley Cup bling: Jonathan Bernier, G; Dustin Brown, RW; Jeff Carter, C; Kyle Clifford, LWDrew Doughty, D; Colin Fraser, C; Matt Greene, D; Dwight King, LW; Anze Kopitar, C; Trevor Lewis, C; Alec Martinez, D; Willie Mitchell, D; Jake Muzzin, D; Jordan Nolan, C; Dustin Penner, LW; Jonathan Quick, G; Mike Richards, C; Brad Richardson, RW; Rob Scuderi, D; Jarret Stoll, C; Tyler Toffoli, C; Slava Voynov, D; Justin Williams, RW.Something worthwhile about the Blues: The Blues went 12-3-0 in their final 15 games of the regular season.
Something worthwhile about the Kings: The Kings were 15-1-0 when leading after the first period this past regular season.
Something useless about the Blues that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Penguins right winger Joe Mullen holds the Blues' postseason record for points by a rookie. He had 18 in 1982.
Something useless about the Kings that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: Former Kings left winger Luc Robitaille holds the Kings' career postseason record for power-play goals with 14.
Former Penguins on the Blues: Jordan Leopold, D; Ville Siren, amateur scout; Sergei Zubov, consultant.
Former Penguins on the Kings: Luc Robitalle, vice president - business operations; Rob Scuderi, D.
Who needs to be the difference for the Blues: Brian Elliott. Elliott salvaged what appeared to be a dreadful season with a spectacular effort in April by going 11-2-0 with a 1.28 goals against average, a .948 save percentage and three shutouts. He has a lot to prove after flaming out against the Kings last postseason. Elliott must provide consistency.
Who needs to be the difference for the Kings: Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Jeff Carter (above). The Kings' best offensive weapons must find a way to overcome St. Louis' suffocating defense.
Best Blues YouTube Video We Could Find: Former Blues right winger Mike Crombeen scoring a series-clinching goal in the second overtime of a 3-2 win against the Penguins in a 1981 preliminary round series:
Best Kings YouTube Video We Could Find: The Miracle on Manchester. Former Kings left winger Darryl Evans' overtime goal which gave the Kings a 6-5 comeback win against the Oilers in Game 3 of a 1982 Smyth Division semifinal series:
EN Prediction: This will be a brutal, punishing series for both teams. Both clubs are strong forecheckers and punish opposing defensemen. Each club is deep up front. While St. Louis has and advantage on defense in terms of depth, the Kings have a big advantage in net with Jonathan Quick. He'll be the difference in what will be a tight series. Kings 4-3.
(Photos: McDonald-Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images; Carter-Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)