Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#435 Minnesota Wild vs.
#436 Los Angeles Kings
Friday, April 23, 2021 at 10:05pm EDT
Staples Center, Los Angeles
Written by Valdis Pans

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Having snapped a two-game skid with a home victory against Anaheim, the Los Angeles Kings (7th in West Division) remain in L.A. to face off against the Minnesota Wild (3rd in the West), who are riding a five-game winning streak.

Wild Win Fifth Straight

The current point run of the Minnesota Wild (29-13-3) extended to six contests (5-0-1), as the team won for the fifth consecutive time following a 4-1 victory against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on Wednesday. After the hosts got the scoring rolling in the opening frame, the Wild tied the proceedings in the second period, adding three more markers, including an empty-netter, in the final third. Marcus Foligno (8 goals, 19 points this year) buried the tiebreaking winner, while Kirill Kaprizov (38 points) scored his 19th snipe of the season to set a new Minnesota rookie record for goals.

Goalie Cam Talbot improved to a 5-0-1 total in his past six starts with a 39-save performance on Wednesday. He has posted a 16-6-3 record for the ongoing campaign with a 2.35 GAA and a .925 save percentage and has gone 10-9-0 against the Los Angeles Kings in previous meetings with a 2.72 GAA and a .912 save percentage. The Wild, meanwhile, are netting the 12th highest quantity of goals per game this year (3.11), while conceding the 7th lowest amount in their defensive zone (2.60). The team is 24th in power play with a 17.9% success rate and 6th in penalty kill with 83.7% efficiency.

Kings End Losing Run

A two-game losing skid (0-2-0) came to an end for the Los Angeles Kings (17-20-6), who returned to action following a break of five days due to two postponed contests versus the Colorado Avalanche with a 4-1 victory against the Anaheim Ducks at Staples Center on Tuesday. Carl Grundstrom (6 goals, 10 points this year) opened the scoring in the first period. Anze Kopitar (10 goals, 44 points) and Andreas Athanasiou (10 goals, 20 points) tallied in the second, while Blake Lizotte (3 goals, 10 points) made it 4-0 midway through the final third before the Ducks got a goal back with five-and-a-half minutes remaining. Los Angeles is 4-9-0 in its last 13 outings.

Goalie Calvin Petersen stopped 24 shots on Tuesday to go 8-11-4 for the season with a 2.67 GAA and a .920 save percentage. He has recorded a 2-0-1 career total versus Minnesota with a 2.60 GAA and a .922 save percentage, while Jonathan Quick (8-9-2 on the year with a 3.06 GAA and a .890 save percentage) is 15-10-7 against the Wild historically with a 2.66 GAA and a .900 save percentage. The Kings are 11th in least goals scored per game this season (2.72), 14th in most goals given up on average (2.95), 13th in power play with a 21.0% conversion rate and 3rd best in penalty kill with 84.9% proficiency.

Best Bets for this Game

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The Kings might still have a realistic hope of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, currently chasing the 4th-placed Arizona Coyotes by five points with no less than four games in hand. Still, a complete shift in luck, results and overall performances would be needed for Los Angeles to see any postseason action, with the team having failed to record consecutive victories since the last week of February, following up triumphs with defeats on eight (!) subsequent occasions. A ninth such time is definitely on the cards on Friday, when Minnesota will drop by the Staples Center, having already banked two wins on its last three trips to the City of Angels. Physicality, composure and persistence has led the Wild to the 3rd position in the West Division and to an impressive 8-2-1 run in their last 11 outings alone. Minnesota has snatched five consecutive wins in its most recent five games against teams with a losing record and is just too tough of a nut to crack for the Kings, who are already losing their eight-game season series against their opponents from Saint Paul with a count of 5-2.

Prediction: Minnesota Wild (-160)

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Five of the previous eight contests between Minnesota and Los Angeles have all delivered quite an impressive amount of snipes, averaging no less than 7.80 markers per encounter. So, banking on another high-scoring bout here is definitely a pretty decent option! Four of the most recent five domestic fixtures of the Kings have already cruised past the set goal-mark, recording an average of seven tallies per clash, while four of the last five road contests of the Wild against sides with a home winning percentage below the .400 mark have all been filled with a prominent amount of strikes.

Prediction: Over 5.5
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Written By Valdis Pans , "Valdis Pans"

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