(KMOV.com) -- The St. Louis Blues open up the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs Tuesday against the Los Angeles Kings.
The Kings are the defending Stanley Cup winners and won as the No. 8 seed. This year the Kings enter the playoffs as the No. 5 seed, so it is hard to discount the Kings as they start the playoffs three seeds higher.
The Blues surged in April to secure home-ice advantage in the first round, but their 11-2 mark in the final month also put them into a matchup with perhaps their biggest nemesis Kings. St. Louis was swept by the Kings in last year’s playoffs and didn’t beat them in the 2013 regular season either – including two losses in Los Angeles.
If the Kings are going to make another deep run in the playoffs, it stands to reason that goalie Jonathan Quick will be why. Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy honors last season as the playoff MVP, going 16-4 with a minuscule 1.41 GAA.
The Blues also need their goalie to lead the way down the stretch. Brian Elliot gave up only 16 goals in the final 13 games. He began the season 3-6-1 before finishing the season 14-8-1 with a .907 save percentage.
Elliot took over for injured goalie Jaroslav Halak during last season’s playoffs, and was the losing goalie in the series against the Kings.
Jeff Carter paced the King’s offense with 26 goals while Captain Dustin Brown scored only 16 goals.
Chris Stewart led the Blues with a team high of 18 goals and 36 points. The Blues had only five players with at least 25 points.
The first game of the series will be played Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Scottrade Center.
St. Louis is 2-1 all time against the Kings in playoff history with the Kings going 4-0 in the 2012 conference semifinals.
The entire first round schedule is located here.