The Kings enter in second-last place in the Honda West standings with a 19-24-6 overall record and 44 points through 49 games. Meanwhile, Arizona is battling for the final playoff spot in the division. The Coyotes sit three points back of the St. Louis Blues, who now also have three games in hand heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
With their playoff hopes dwindling, will the Coyotes be able to remain focused at home against the lowly Kings on Monday evening?
Quick hoping to continue strong finish to 2020-2021 seasonLos Angeles came up short o the road in Anaheim 6-2 against the Ducks on Saturday. Brendan Lemieux and Tobias Bjornfot both scored goals for the Kings while Calvin Petersen stopped 27 of 33 shots in the loss.
Jonathan Quick Appreciation Post pic.twitter.com/azXa2UogPh— LA Kings (@LAKings) February 17, 2021
The Kings have been tanking towards the bottom of the standings over the last month. Los Angeles has dropped 13 of its last 19 games and the Kings have started to give some of their younger players more playing time. Bjornfot has been one of the beneficiaries of the Kings’ recent slide. He scored his first career NHL goal on Saturday in his 29th career NHL game.
Veteran netminder Jonathan Quick is scheduled to tend to the twine for the Kings on Monday evening. Quick is 10-9-2 with a 2.85 GAA and .898 save percentage in 21 starts this season. The 35-year-old has been red-hot to start the season, winning four of his last five starts while posting a healthy .916 save percentage during that span. The Kings’ veteran has also performed well against the Coyotes this season, going 2-1-0 with a 2.61 GAA and .889 save percentage in three starts. In 45 career starts against Arizona, Quick is 21-20-4 with a 2.50 GAA and .905 save percentage with six shutouts.
Coyotes playing themselves out of playoff pictureArizona was unable to keep its momentum going against Vegas on Saturday, losing 3-2 in overtime against the Golden Knights to put another dent into their playoff hopes. Christian Fischer and Christian Dvorak each scored third-period goals while Darcy Kuemper allowed three goals on 34 shots to help the Coyotes salvage a point on the night.
The Coyotes have essentially decided their own fate over the final month of the regular season. Since April 7, Arizona has gone just 3-9-1 to fall out of the playoff picture in the division standings. St. Louis suddenly has three games in hand over Arizona, which will now likely need to win out to have a chance at making the postseason.
Darcy Kuemper is scheduled to be back between the pipes for the Coyotes on Monday evening. The 30-year-old is 9-10-2 with a 2.55 GAA and .907 save percentage in 24 starts this year. Kuemper has battled through injuries and inconsistency after a couple of elite seasons in Arizona, however, he’s stumbled down the stretch of the season. Kuemper has surrendered at least three goals in five of his last six starts while compiling a 1-4-1 record during that span. In three starts versus the Kings this season, Kuemper is 1-1-1 with a 1.64 GAA and .935 save percentage.
- Coyotes are 5-16 in their last 21 games playing on one day's rest.
- Coyotes are 3-10 in their last 13 overall.
- Kings are 4-0 in their last 4 after allowing 5 goals or more in their previous game.
- Kings are 4-0 in their last 4 games following a loss of 3 or more goals.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
It’s hard to like the Coyotes in this spot. Arizona might be desperate for a win but the Coyotes’ playoff hopes are like a ticking time bomb at this point. All of the pressure is going to be on Arizona over the next few games and it wouldn’t surprise me if they put up a dud here. Meanwhile, Quick has been putting together a surprisingly strong finish to the 2020-21 season and the Kings have won four of his last five starts. Getting plus-money at home against a team that has lost 10 of its last 14 games seems too good to be true here. Take the Kings to play the role of spoiler and come out on top on the road in this battle on Monday night.
Full-Game Total Pick
These two teams are projected for 5.5 goals but that seems like a low number given what’s at stake here. The Kings offense seems due for a breakout game after scoring exactly two goals in each of its previous three contests and this looks like a good spot for that to happen. Kuemper has been slumping down the stretch of the regular season, allowing three goals or more in five of his last six starts while going 1-4-1 during that span. If the Coyotes get down early, expect a greater sense of urgency from them late in this game, which should help boost the total in this one. Take the over in this game on Monday evening.