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Both the Blues and Kings had a solid regular season.
St. Louis Blues:
Early on in the 2012-13 season the Blues were one of the hottest teams in the NHL, and they picked up where they left off in the 2011-12 season. With a 6-1 start to the season, things were looking good for St.Louis. As the season went on, the Blues' play dropped off, partly because of injuries to players like Jaroslav Halak and Vladimir Tarasenko.
February was a horrid month for the Blues, and they finished the month off with a 4-7-1 record. In the month of March things started looking up, but the team went into free fall after ending the month by losing four of its final five games. The Blues would finish the month with a 7-7-1 record during the month of March, and they were No. 8 in the Western Conference.
Given the down play in consecutive months, it was clear a change was needed, and GM Doug Armstrong made some changes at the trade deadline. The biggest acquisition was the addition of defenseman Jay Bouwmeester, and it was a move that helped solidify the Blues' blue line. April was a much better month for St.Louis, and it was able to finish No. 4 in the conference by going 12-3-0 during the month of April.
Los Angeles Kings:
The defending Stanley Cup champions had an interesting season that featured many different ups and downs. The Kings were completely dominated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first game of the season by a score of 5-2, and their lineup was impacted by the loss of defenseman Matt Greene.
Greene's back injury effectively ended his season, and after only one game, the Kings were down a defenseman. Things only got worse after Willie Mitchell went down with an injury, but the Kings were able to bounce back later in the season after a terrible January.
Although the Kings lost two of their top defenders, sophomore Slava Voynov and rookie Jake Muzzin stepped up and became two of the team's top defenders. The exceptional play of these two youngsters softened the blow, and a midseason acquisition of Robyn Regehr help shore up the blue line. The top play on the blue line enabled the Kings to remain a playoff team for most of the season, and they clinched a playoff spot on April 20.
Offensively the Kings produced better this season than they did in 2011-12, and a big reason for that was the play of Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards, Justin Williams and Dustin Brown. The Kings scored 2.73 goals a game this season, the 10th most in the entire NHL.
To make the playoffs the Kings took care of business during the month of April, and despite their No. 5 ranking in the Western Conference, they remain one of the top contenders for the Stanley Cup. The Kings are not underdogs like they were in 2011-12, but they are still a very good hockey team.