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Today's Date Was Circled

October 11, 2000|JIM HODGES

Sure, the three road games to open the season were important.

"We knew we wanted to get off to a good start," King winger Luc Robitaille said. "We made the playoffs last season by getting off to a good start."

But tonight's game against the St. Louis Blues is special, and not just because it's the home opener.

"Ever since we saw the schedule and saw that St. Louis was our home opener, we've been pointing for it," Robitaille said. "We know that they are one of the favorites for the Stanley Cup, and that's the kind of team we need to beat."

The Kings did just that a year ago at St. Louis, ending a four-year drought in that city and getting only their third victory there in the '90s.

But the drought remains in Southern California, where the Kings last beat the Blues on Jan. 11, 1997.

Still, "I think we match up pretty well against St. Louis," Coach Andy Murray said. "Not many coaches will say that."


Murray saw the 7-1 victory over the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday as preparation for playing the Blues.

"Columbus was trying to get a piece of us," the coach said, citing the Blue Jackets' attempt at physical play. "St. Louis will play us physically too."


vs. St. Louis, 7

Fox Sports Net, ESPN2

* Site--Staples Center.

* Radio--KRLA (1110).

* Records--Kings 2-1, Blues 2-1.

* Record vs. Blues--(1999-2000) 1-2-1.

* Update--So much for the Slovak line. Wingers Pavol Demitra and Lubor Bartecko will be there tonight for St. Louis, but center Michael Handzus is at home with a torn stomach muscle. In his place is Jochen Hecht, a German. After losing their season opener at Phoenix, the Blues beat the San Jose Sharks and the Mighty Ducks.

* Tickets--(888) 546-4752. (About 1,000 remain).

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