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02/11/2013 11:57 PM EST
Carter scores twice, Kings beat Blues 4-1
LOS ANGELES 4, ST LOUIS 1

By R.B. FALLSTROM
AP Sports Writer

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- The Los Angeles Kings dialed it back to their
Stanley Cup run last spring, and put another beating on the St.
Louis Blues.



Jeff Carter scored twice for the first time since the Game 6 Cup
clincher over New Jersey and the Kings didn't need playoff star
Jonathan Quick in goal to shut down St. Louis in a 4-1 victory
on Monday night.



"That's something we've been talking about, getting a lead and
playing with a lead," Carter said. "We haven't been doing that
much this year.



"It's not easy coming in here and playing these guys. It's a
step in the right direction.



Brian Elliott has been in net the last four games of the Blues'
five-game losing streak, a skid in which they've allowed 26
goals. Elliott made 19 saves in a surprise start a day after
Jaroslav Halak was activated from injured reserve, led the team
onto the ice for the pregame skate and was listed on the game
sheet.



(There's) "no going into the pregame skate knowing what you're
going to be facing, so it's a little tough," Elliott said. "But
like I've said, when you just get thrown into the fire sometimes
it's better. You're not thinking about it, you just go in and
play."



Halak tweaked a groin strain and Elliott found out he was
starting about five minutes before the opening faceoff.



"I think everybody was in a little bit of shock," coach Ken
Hitchcock said. "He had three really good days of practice and
then, I don't know, somewhere in the warm-up he pulled it
again."



Hitchcock said he'd know the extent of the injury in practice
Tuesday.



Backup goalie Jonathan Bernier was solid with 21 saves in just
his second game of the season and first start for the Kings. Los
Angeles outscored the Blues 15-6 while eliminating them in five
games in the second round of the playoffs last spring en route
to the Stanley Cup finals.



"I've been trying to keep my game at a high level," Bernier
said. "Just trying to stay focused, that's how it's been all
year."



Carter said Bernier "has been itching to get in there."



"He made the saves when he had to and didn't give up any
rebounds," Carter added. "He saw all the pucks, he did a great
job."



Davis Drewiske made it 3-0 at 13:22 of the second period with
his first goal of the season on a power play. Alex Steen scored
on a power play in the final minute of the second for St. Louis
with Andy McDonald earning his 300th career assist.



The Kings are just 4-5-2 and had lost three of four before
beating the Blues.



"The top guys need to put some goals in the net, and it's no
secret that we've kind of struggled at that," Carter said. "For
us to win games, we're going to have to get going here."



The five-game skid is the first since Jan. 2-12, 2011, for the
Blues, who began the season 6-1. It's their first five-game
losing streak at home since Jan. 23-Feb. 6, 2010.



"This is the homestand from hell," Hitchcock said. "We lost our
goalie, we didn't play as well and now we've got to take this
onto the road, and we've got to be much more accountable to each
other."



Carter tapped in a backhander on a break-in with Slava Voynov at
8:31 of the first, just the Kings' fifth first-period goal of
the season, then got behind defenseman Ian Cole for his sixth of
the season early in the second. Drewiske was wide open in the
slot off a feed from Dustin Brown.



The Kings are 89-1-10 their last 100 games when leading after
two periods, and got insurance on Jarrett Stoll's second goal of
the season that made it 4-1 early in the third. Voynov earned
his second assist on the play.



Elliott entered the game 3-4-1 with a 3.51 goals-against average
and Hitchcock said after a 6-5 shootout loss to the Ducks on
Saturday that he'd start rookie Jake Allen against Los Angeles
if Halak wasn't ready to go. Allen was assigned to Peoria, Ill.,
when Halak, 3-0 with a 2.10 goals-against average and two
shutouts, was activated on Sunday.



The Kings entered as the NHL's lowest-scoring team and matched
their season best for goals.



Notes: Carter's last two-goal game during the regular season was
March 3 against the Ducks. ... Attendance of 14,498 was the
Blues' lowest of the season, more than 4,000 shy of capacity.
... The victory was Bernier's first since March 17, 2012, over
the Predators. ... The Blues have scored on the power play in
six straight games.

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