PREVIEW: LA Kings remain in playoff chase as they host Blues (12:30p, FSW)

12:30P: FOX SPORTS GO

Two teams heading in different directions the past four weeks will meet Saturday afternoon when the Los Angeles Kings host the St. Louis Blues at Staples Center.

The Kings (37-25-5) are 7-3-0 since Feb. 17, keeping them in the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference entering Friday, one point behind the Anaheim Ducks for third in the Pacific Division and two points behind the second-place San Jose Sharks.

The Blues (35-27-5) are an NHL-worst 1-7-2 since Feb. 11, scoring two goals or fewer eight times.

St. Louis enters Friday four points behind the Kings for the final wild-card spot into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Blues were third in the Central Division before their 10-game skid, six points ahead of Los Angeles.

St. Louis received more bad news this week when goaltender Carter Hutton came down with a sore neck before the game at the Sharks on Thursday. Jake Allen stepped into the starting lineup and local goalie Ben Wexler was signed as a late backup.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick struggled while posting a 2-6-0 record and .894 save percentage in January, but has regained his strength and touch over the past three weeks, posting a 5-3-0 record in that span and allowing two goals or less in six of those games.

Los Angeles is also the healthiest it has been all season.

Jeff Carter returned from a 55-game absence after having surgery to repair a deep cut on his calf and has four goals in six games, including a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win against the visiting Washington Capitals on Thursday. Trevor Lewis returned against the Capitals after missing 12 games with an upper-body injury and also scored in the win to increase his career-high total to 14.

“It’s the first time we’ve had everyone healthy,” Los Angeles forward Tanner Pearson said. “We look to have a good stretch going down here and string some wins together and keep staying in the playoffs.”

Pearson has a goal and two assists in the two games against St. Louis this season, a 4-2 loss on Oct. 30 and a 4-1 win on Dec. 1, both in St. Louis. He also has two goals and an assist in a current three-game point streak.

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