The Los Angeles Kings will host the New Jersey Devils in an inter-conference battle Thursday night from the Staples Center. The Devils are coming off a 5-1 home loss to the Lightning, and the Kings dropped a 2-1 home decision to the Coyotes in their previous contest. The Devils defeated the Kings in both meetings last season.
Devils Losing Streak Extended to Six Games
The New Jersey Devils will open a three-game road trip looking to snap a rough six-game losing streak. Their defensive struggles continued in a 5-2 home loss to the Lightning on Monday night. Devils’ point leader Taylor Hall had a three-game point streak snapped in the defeat. Overall, the 27-year old left-winger continues to produce at a high level, collecting eight points in his last seven games, and he has tallied 27 points on the season. Hall has registered 15 points in 23 career games against the Kings. Kyle Palmieri is struggling to put up points, collecting just two points in his last nine games overall. The eight-year veteran right-winger has 12 goals along with 10 assists on the season. The Devils have especially struggled on the road where they hold a terrible 2-10-1 record on the season.
"The road forces you to play simple, and just go play, not worry about momentum as much. There's no doubt about it that we're not feeling it as a team right now, and maybe a chance of scenery is good."
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) December 4, 2018
New Jersey could go with either Keith Kinkaid or Cory Schneider in this one. Kinkaid now owns a poor 2.94 GAA and a .906 save percentage accompanied with a 9-7-5 record on the season, while Schneider stands at 0-5 with a 4.19 GAA. The Devils are averaging 2.9 goals on the season, ranking them at 20th in the NHL. New Jersey continues to give up a ton of goals, conceding an average of 3.5 goals on the season, placing them down at 28th in the NHL.
Kings Goal Scoring Woes Resume in Loss to Coyotes
The Los Angeles Kings will resume a four-game home stand hungry for a win. They have dropped three out of their last four games which included a 2-1 home loss to the Coyotes on Tuesday night. Kings’ scoring leader Anze Kopitar collected his 12th assist of the season in Tuesday’s defeat. The 12-year veteran center has notched eight points in his last six games, and he is up to 18 points on the season. Kopitar has 11 points in 17 career games against the Devils. Several Kings’ are not performing up to their potential this season and that includes Tyler Toffoli. The 26-year old right-winger has gone seven straight games without recording a single point, and he only has five goals along with seven assists on the season. L.A. owns a poor 6-9-1 home record on the season, and they stand at 4-6 in their last ten games overall.
Hear from Brendan Leipsic after he made his LA Kings debut against the Arizona Coyotes. pic.twitter.com/yIxR8ssJSk
— LA Kings (@LAKings) December 5, 2018
The Kings are expected to send Jonathan Quick to the crease in this one. The 32-year old goalie has played well in his last three games since returning from injury, although he still possesses a poor 3.29 GAA and an .889 save percentage accompanied with a 1-5-1 record. L.A. continues to struggle offensively, averaging 2.1 goals, pegging them last in the NHL. They are allowing an average of three goals, positioning them 16th in the NHL.
The Los Angeles Kings are:
- 12-5 in their last 17 games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.
- under is 4-0 in their last 4 games after scoring two or fewer goals in their previous game.
The New Jersey Devils are:
- 5-17 in their last 22 games overall.
- 7-19 in their last 26 road games.
- 0-4 in their last 4 games against the Western Conference.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am taking the Kings in this contest. The Devils continue to struggle in a big way, losing six consecutive games and four straight road games. Their defensive play has been awful as they have allowed at least four goals in six consecutive games.
Furthermore, the Kings are playing solid defense, allowing only a combined eight goals in their last four games overall. The Devils own a 2-10-1 road record, and I expect the Kings to hand them another loss.
Prediction: Los Angeles Kings
Full-Game Total Pick
The under is a strong play in this matchup. The Devils are only averaging 2.6 goals in their last 10 games, and the Kings are playing solid defensively right now, plus the under is 7-3 in the Devils’ last 10 games in L.A.
In addition, the Kings have scored two or fewer goals in five consecutive games, and the under converted in all five of those games. Also, the under is 19-6-2 in the Kings’ last 27 games when playing on one day of rest.
Full-Game Prop Bet
I am confident the Kings can contain the Devils scoring. The Kings own a 3-3 record in their last six games, and they have only allowed a total of 12 goals in those six games. Also, the Kings have only conceded a combined four goals in their last three home games.
Prediction: Devils Team Total: Under
Half-Time Total Bet
I expect very little offense in the first frame. The Kings have only scored 14 goals in their 28 games in the first period this season, while only allowing 25 goals. Also, the Devils lowest scoring period occurs in the first where they have scored 24 goals on the season.
Prediction: First Period Total: Under