Penguins vs Canadiens NHL Spread/Handicapping
Headline: League’s Worst Offense Battles Defensive Elite – Preds Visit Kings Monday Night
In what is sure to be a low scoring affair, two Western Conference Playoff contenders square off in Los Angeles hoping to create a little room in the muddled Western Conference standings.
Nashville Predators (9-8-1-4) at Los Angeles Kings (10-7-1-1)
When: 10:30 PM ET, Monday, March 4, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Broadcast: NHLN-CA, NHLN-US, FS-TN, FS-W
Preds vs. Kings Betting Lines from SportsBettingOnline
Nashville Predators +1½ -240 +138 Ov 5 +127
Los Angeles Kings -1½ +200 -152 Un 5 -140
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The Nashville Predators enter Monday night’s game playing miserably in the offensive zone while the Los Angeles Kings had apparently solved their offensive woes during a tidy five game win streak until a 5-2 loss to the Canucks on Saturday night. The one thing Nashville does have going for them – they have beaten the Kings in both meetings this season.
How bad have the Nashville Predators been offensively this year? They are dead last in the NHL averaging just 2.0 goals per game, they have totaled just two goals in their last four games and they have already been shut out a league-leading five times. Nashville has lost four of five games overall and have lost five straight away from home with little reason to think they can turn the switch on!
At least the Predators have defense – right? It’s true that Pekka Rinne is simply one of the best in the game but he can’t do it all – the players have to do their jobs in front of him in order for the team to be successful. One area this is breaking down? The penalty killing which has given up a staggering 13 PP goals in the last four games. Unreal!
The Los Angeles Kings looked good heading into their Saturday Night showdown with the Canucks but goaltending, scoring and special teams let them down – all three were signatures of this club during their Cup run and not coincidentally during a five game win streak in which they outscored their opponents 17-6.
Jeff Carter had a five game scoring streak snapped on Saturday but Anze Kopitar had an assist and now has two goals and seven assists during a five-game point-scoring streak for the Kings. Since going out without a point in his first two games this season, Kopitar has at least one point in 13 of the past 16 games. The Kings offense has been better than average lately and better than average is a victory for a team that can really play defense.
Jonathan Quick had an off game on Saturday – Jonathan Bernier may get the start Monday. Bernier made 32 saves last Wednesday and has won each of his last four starts while stopping 91 of 95 shots. Either way it is hard to imagine the Kings surrendering many goals against an offense that simply has not found its rhythm yet this year.
A few trends to consider:
• Under is 11-2-1 in NAS last 14 vs. Pacific.
• Under is 10-3 in NAS last 13 road games.
• Under is 13-5-1 in NAS last 19 Mon. games.
• Under is 5-2-4 in LA last 11 overall.
• LA are 12-5 in their last 17 vs. Central.
• NAS are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Kings, despite getting worked on the scoreboard on Saturday night played an OK game – Jonathan Quick simply didn’t make any stops. But I think the Kings’ game against Vancouver acted as a bit of a wakeup call – teams aren’t going to give the defending champs a night off. I have absolutely zero confidence in Nashville right now – the Kings rebound and kick of the start of a five game homestand in style.
Pick: LA Kings -152