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NHL Free Pick: Kings vs. Canadiens Betting Lines & Preview

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Weekly NHL Betting action sees the Los Angeles Kings taking on the Montreal Canadiens December 12 at Bell Center. Cappers Picks provides free NHL handicapping tips all season long.

The Los Angeles continue their Eastern road trip on Friday night with a stop in Montreal to take on a Canadiens team that is happy to be home after an unflattering 1-5-1 stretch preceded their 3-1 win versus Vancouver Tuesday night.

Daily NHL Hockey Odds

Los Angeles (15-9-2-3) at Montreal (18-10-1-1)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Friday, December 12, 2014
Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec
Broadcast: RDS, SNE, KCOP-13
Kings NHL Betting Odds: +1½ -275 PL +114
Canadiens NHL Betting Odds: -1½ +230 PL -126
NHL Over/Under Betting Odds: 5
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Both teams have struggled to score goals as of late – the better offense in this one will likely become the victor.

The Kings played last night in Ottawa and experienced a virtual offensive explosion – five goals were their most in nearly a month – the team had recorded just eight goals in their previous four games.

That said the Kings will be happy that Anze Kopitar scored – he netted his fist goal in 11 games – the team will absolutely need him to step up going forward.

Justin Williams remains hot with 10 points in his last 12 games, Jake Muzzin and continues to be among the top defensemen in terms of points – he had three assists last night.

But there are still a few Kings that are struggling mightily in the offensive zone – Tyler Toffoli has just one point in four games, Tanner Pearson has five points in 21 games and Dustin Brown is pointless in three.

Translation – the Kings aren’t quite the balanced team they need to be – their success is predicated on everyone contributing – that’s not happening at the moment.

Jonathan Quick got the start last night between the pipes which means the red-hot Martin Jones could be in goal tonight. Quick is 2-2-0 with a terrific 1.51 GAA and .9396 save percentage in his last four games while Jones hasn’t surrendered a goal in his last two starts and now has a 1.42 GAA on the season.

Jones posted a 6-0 win against Montreal last year – the Kings will be in good hands between the pipes Friday.

The Montreal Canadiens are a much better team at home than they are on the road. Their 1-5-1 stretch came when Montreal was away from Bell Center and despite registering only 16 shots on goal against Vancouver in the win Tuesday, they certainly looked much more comfortable. The Habs are 10-3-1 at home with an average 3.1 goals compared to 1.8 per game on the road – a totally different team.

Coach Michel Therien switched up his lines prior to the Vancouver games and it seemed to pay dividends – the Canadiens have scored only 16 goals during a 2-5-1 stretch. Therien put Alex Galchenyuk at center with Max Pacioretty and Gallagher on the first line, while David Desharnais played with Michael Bournival on the second.

Sven Andrighetto joined Plekanec and fellow rookie Jiri Sekac on the third. There seemed to be a bit more chemistry – something that had been lacking for weeks with this team.

Every line contributed – a good sign for the Habs heading into Friday night.

Carey Price figures to get the call between the pipes.

He is just 8-5-0 in his last 13 games but has a very good 1.94 GAA and .932 save percentage over that span.

NHL Gambling Trends

• LA are 9-3 in their last 12 Fri. games.
• LA are 4-10 in their last 14 road games.
• Under is 7-3-2 in LA last 12 vs. Atlantic.
• MON are 2-6 in their last 8 overall.
• MON are 6-2 in their last 8 home games.
• Under is 14-6-5 in MON last 25 overall.
• LA are 2-7 in the last 9 meetings.

Los Angeles won both meetings with Montreal last season, outscoring the Canadiens by an 8-1 margin but the Canadiens have won seven of the last nine in the series between the teams.

I like Montreal’s home ice advantage to be the difference in a low scoring game here.

NHL Betting 4* Free Play

The Bell Center mystique is alive and well – Montreal is a different team in front of their rabid fans.

Montreal Canadiens -126

LA plays their second road game in as many nights – my guess is that they aren’t as sharp as they need to be in this one.

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