The St. Louis Blues have looked like they were going to finally close out the Kings at different points in each of their last three games of this Western Conference Quarterfinal series. They had periods of dominance in their 1-0 loss in Game 3, a two-goal lead in the first period of Game 4, and a breathtaking, dramatic, late tying goal to send Game 5 to overtime. There are reasons, if you're a Blues fan, to look back at all three of those games and think that they should've gotten each.
They didn't get any of them, however, and now they're in a familiar place: facing elimination at the Staples Center in a playoff game. After the Kings swept the Blues in 2012, they have a chance to dispatch them in Game 6 of their series in 2013. If they do that, then some serious questions have to be asked about how this collapse happened. But for now, the Blues aren't quite dead.
In fact, if they win, they get a Game 7 at home and two days off. In this rushed season, and even more rushed postseason, two days off before the most pivotal game of the year could be huge. But they have to find a way to win in LA first, a task that has proved out of their grasp so far.
Have the Kings finally gotten Anze Kopitar going?
After a rough first three games of the series, Kopitar has a big goal and three points in the last two. He had looked straight-up lost at times in the first few games of the series, but now he appears to be going. That's almost like trading for an all-world forward in the middle of the series. He appears to have picked up as the Kings have. Is it as Kopitar goes, so does Los Angeles?
Will Brian Elliott give up a goal as embarrassing as the Voynov's Game 5 winner?
You have to admit, that was a horrendous goal for Elliott to have given up. Fact is, Elliott has played well for most of this series, but has looked suspect in the last couple of games, and ... yes, on that overtime goal he was terrible. Can he pick it back up to save St. Louis?
Can St. Louis win on the road?
The Blues were a perfectly fine road team during the regular season, going 14-9-1 away from Scottrade Center. However, they failed to get a victory in Games 3 and 4 out at the Staples Center earlier this week. They'll need to get a road win to save their skins (and win themselves two days off) and it doesn't seem out of the realm of possibility. They lost a 1-0 decision in Game 3 and had a two-goal lead in Game 4. Timely scoring and tightening up on defense aren't overreaching for St. Louis. This is a winnable game.
Game Time: 10 p.m. ET
National TV: NBC Sports Network, CBC
St. Louis TV: FS Midwest
Los Angeles TV: Prime Ticket