While other quarterfinal series have had more publicized animosity or received more attention for high goal totals, the first-round match-up of the Los Angeles Kings and St. Louis Blues has arguably been the best series thus far of the 2013 playoffs.
Featuring a high level of intensity and a tendency to lean towards a hard, hitting defensive style, Game 4 broke the mold when the teams combined for seven goals, which resulted in Los Angeles tying the series at two games apiece.
With series moving back to St. Louis for Game 5 on Wednesday night, the Blues hope the series' other trends won't be changing in the Kings' favor.
Will home-ice advantage still be a factor?
Through four games, the home team has won every contest. Despite St. Louis carrying a lead into the third period of Game 4, Los Angles managed two goals to even the series. Will the Blues keep the trend alive in Game 5?
Will Los Angeles continue to improve in the face-off circle?
Since losing 64 percent of draws in Game 1, the Kings have improved in the face-off circle? Coincidentally (?), so too has the results of each contest. Possession is key in hockey and winning face-offs is closely associated with a team's ability to drive it. With that in mind, it will be interesting to see the face-off numbers at the end of the night to determine whether it had an impact on the game's result.
Will the series resume its defensive tone?
Seven goals had been scored through the first three games of the series. Seven goals were scored in Game 4. Was last game's offensive output an aberration or are these teams able to provide more fire power in Game 5?
Game time: 9 p.m., ET
National TV: CBC, NHLN-US, CNBC
Regional TV: RDSI, FS-W, FS-MW