After a decidedly long layoff, the Blues are back and ready to go tonight. A week of rest can only do good for the aching bones of the veterans and the wonky ankle of Jaroslav Halak, who will still not play to start this series. As it stands, it's unfortunate to have Halak injured, but the Blues are set with the regular season GAA and save percentage leader in net: Brian Elliott. Elliott is 3-0 in these playoffs, sharing a game two shutout against the San Jose Sharks with Halak. He, along with a defense led by Alex Pietrangelo, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Barret Jackman, allowed the fewest goals in the NHL last season.
The Kings, a shockingly similar team to the Blues, also rely on their goalie to win games. Jonathan Quick lost six games last year by the score of 1-0, which is both a testament to his amazing Vezina nominated skill and his team's occasional scoring issues. Tonight's game, like the others played between these two teams, shouldn't be high-scoring affairs. The only regular season game that was -- a 5-0 drubbing by the Kings -- was before Ken Hitchcock's tenure as coach of the Blues.
Don't expect amazing goals necessarily, but do expect some highlight-reel saves. Hopefully the Blues can start round two off with a bang and keep the momentum going. After all, they're now the Cup favorites, according to some.
Puck drop is at 6:30 Central on the NBC Sports Network.
For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation St. Louis. For more in-depth coverage of this series, visit Blues blog St. Louis Game Time and Kings blog Jewels From The Crown. For additional coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, visit SB Nation’s NHL news hub.