Free NHL Picks: Canucks at Kings Odds
by George Monroy - 1/13/2014
The Los Angeles Kings have a wealth of talent at the goaltender position now that Jonathan Quick has returned to the lineup after a nearly two-month absence due to injury. Los Angeles fell behind the Western Conference leaders after a recent five-game losing streak left the team 14 points behind the first-place Anaheim Ducks in the playoff standings. Los Angeles’ offense has shouldered much of the blame as goaltenders Quick and Martin Jones have continued to play well in front of the net. The Kings are hoping to take advantage of its solid goaltending as of late by putting together an efficient offensive performance on Monday night.
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The Vancouver Canucks trail the Kings by only two points in the Western Conference standings and will be looking to both gain ground in the playoff standings and avoid a their fourth consecutive loss to Los Angeles this season. The Canucks recently ended an extended losing streak with a solid victory over the St. Louis Blues on Friday. Let’s take a closer look at tonight’s matchup with predictions and analysis.
Canucks at Kings Betting Story Lines
Quick may not be playing up to his championship-level from the team’s title run a few season ago, but he is still a very good goalie that can be spectacular on any given night. He has given up only seven goals during the first four games back in front of the net. However, the team itself was able to score only seven goals as well during that span and almost wasted four excellent starts from Quick by going 2-2 over those games.
After Tuesday’s matchup against Vancouver, Los Angeles will hit the road for seven of its next eight games and will play the Western Conference-leading Anaheim Ducks twice during that span. If the Kings do not fix their offensive issues soon, they might find themselves out of the playoff race by the time they return to Los Angeles for a four-game homestand at the end of the month.
Vancouver just stopped a five-game losing streak with an impressive home win over the St. Louis Blues on Friday. Prior to that, the team dropped games to Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Anaheim and Pittsburgh, and it will start a three-game road trip on Tuesday versus the Kings. Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack held the high-scoring Blues to one goal during his last outing and stopped 30 shots during the game. Prior to that performance, Lack had given up 15 goals in four games and was struggling in front of the net.
The Canucks have already lost three times to the Kings this season and struggle to stop Los Angeles’ offense. In general, Vancouver plays excellent defense and is ranked sixth in goals allowed with only 2.3 this season. The team is also ranked 15th in goals scored with 2.6 and first in penalty kill percentage. Henrik Sedin leads Vancouver with 40 points this season. However, the center has been playing through an arm injury and has not scored a goal in 12 games.
Canucks at Kings NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Los Angeles opened as a -152 moneyline favorite over the +138 underdog Canucks at BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with the “under” being a slight favorite at -110. Los Angeles is 4-0 in its recent matchups against the Pacific Division and 12-3 over its last 15 matchups when its opponent allows two or fewer goals in the previous game. The team, however, is 2-5 over its last seven games against teams with winning records and 1-6 versus the Western Conference.
Vancouver is 8-2 over its last 10 games following a win and 5-2 during its last seven Monday games. The team has also gone under in six of its last eight games against the Pacific Division and in five of its last eight road games. Head-to-head, the under is 6-1-3 over the last 10 meetings in Los Angeles, while Vancouver is only 3-8 during the last 11 overall meetings.
Free NHL Picks: Canucks at Kings Predictions
Los Angeles is only two points ahead of Vancouver for the sixth spot in the playoff standings and will be heading out on the road for a brutal stretch of games against the Western Conference’s elite teams. The squad may be looking at Tuesday’s matchup against the Canucks as a must win. The Kings’ goaltending and defense have been excellent, and even when a team’s offense struggles, great defense can at least keep games within striking distance. Expect Los Angeles add some energy to its offense and get a much-needed win against the Canucks. Take the Kings on the moneyline.
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