Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames Free NHL Picks, Odds and Predictions
by George Monroy - 2/27/2014
Los Angeles Kings (31-22-6, 68 points) at Calgary Flames (22-29-7, 51 points)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 9:30 p.m. EST (Scotiabank Saddledome)
The Los Angeles Kings return to the ice with back-to-back road games against Colorado and Calgary. Los Angeles hopes to have left its struggles before the Olympic break in the past as the team lost nine of 11 games before the late-season hiatus. The Kings went from being a top-tier Western Conference team to seventh in the playoff standings. A win over Calgary on Thursday night may be exactly what the team needs in order to climb back up the standings before the season comes to an end.
Calgary is 13 points behind the final playoff spot in the West and would need to put together a winning streak immediately if it plans on punching a ticket into the postseason anytime soon. The squad had picked up its pace prior to the break and won six of its last eight matchups extending back to late January. Let’s take a closer look at the Kings versus Flames matchup with predictions and analysis.
Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames Betting Story Lines
Los Angeles’ goaltending and defense has remained solid over its losing streak, but the team’s biggest struggle has been on the offensive side of the puck. The Kings are surprisingly ranked 29th in goals scored per game with only 2.3 and managed to score only five times in its last five matchups prior to the break. The team has talent and is relatively healthy, so that offensive drought is a bit of a mystery.
The Kings are still expected to be a factor come playoff time as they are receiving the seventh-best title odds at Sportsbook.ag. Los Angeles has only one player on its roster that has scored over 40 points this season (Anze Kopitar), and at this point the team’s excellent defense and stingy goaltending are the only things keeping it from falling out of the playoff race entirely.
Calgary’s may be hoping that the break in the season didn’t stop any of the team’s momentum. The Flames held their opponents to only 20 goals during their last eight matchups while scoring 26 goals of their own during that span. Staring goaltender Reto Berra has been excellent over his last five starts, allowing only 12 goals on 120 shot attempts.
The Flames will play nine of their 16 games in March at home, but they will need to improve their 10-15-4 road record if the squad plans on making a late-season playoff push. Calgary’s points leader, Jiri Hudler, has struggled to produce points over his last eight matchups, recording only three points for the team during that span.
Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames NHL Betting Odds and Key Trends
Los Angeles opened up as a -142 road favorite over the +129 underdog Flames at BetOnline. The total was set at five goals, with both the “over” and “under” set at -105. Los Angeles is 1-4 in its last five games against the Western Conference and 2-9 in its last 11 overall matchups. The team is also 2-10 in its last 12 road games and 0-4 in the second game of its recent back-to-back matchups. Los Angeles has gone “under” in 17 of its last 26 games against the Pacific Division.
Calgary is 5-0 in its last five home games and in its last five against the Western Conference. The squad is 6-2 in its last eight overall games but only 3-10 in its last 13 Thursday matchups. Calgary has gone under is three of its last four games against Pacific Division teams. Head-to-head, Los Angeles is 4-0 during the last four matchups in Calgary.
Los Angeles Kings at Calgary Flames Free NHL Picks and Betting Predictions
Los Angeles opened as a solid road favorite over the Flames based on its reputation and overall record. However, Calgary has looked like the better team as of late, and it is difficult to project what type of impact the three-week break will have on both squads. Los Angeles is really struggling on offense, and a few weeks worth of rest might not necessarily be the answer to its problems. Thursday’s game is an excellent opportunity to take a shot on a home underdog getting a solid +129 payout. Take the Flames on the moneyline.
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