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Vancouver Canucks vs. L.A. Kings Free Picks & NHL Preview

Canucks vs Kings NHL Line & Handicapping

Pacific Division Foes Clash on Saturday Night – Canucks Visit LA

Two Heavyweights in the new Pacific Division in the NHL meet for the first time this season Saturday night continuing a contentious rivalry that has included meetings in two of the last four Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Vancouver Canucks (11-5-0-2) at Los Angeles Kings (10-6-0-0)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 9, 2013
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Broadcast: CBC, FS-W
Canucks vs. Kings Betting Lines from betonline.com
Vancouver Canucks +1½ -275 +116 Ov 5 -121
Los Angeles Kings -1½ +230 -128 Un 5 +110

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The Kings enter Saturday night’s contest four points behind the Canucks and two other teams for second but have gone just 6-4 in their last 10 games. The Canucks on the other hand have been playing very well – 6-2-2 in their last 10 games and they are coming off a 4-2 win against their old nemesis San Jose on Thursday night.

The Vancouver Canucks have finally found some balance! Sure the Sedins have been lights out and linemate Ryan Kesler has been terrific but the team is getting some much needed secondary scoring – hence the success and hence the optimism for this team going forward.

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The Sedins were held scoreless in their win Thursday night – for Henrik it was the first time in 13 games and for Daniel it was the first time in eight. Ryan Kesler had 10 points in nine games as well before being shut out on Thursday night.

Enter the supporting cast. Brad Richardson and Mike Santorelli each scored – their fifth goal of the season to help them beat San Jose for the first time since January 21.

Chris Higgins scored his sixth and Zack Kassian notched his fourth goal to carry the Canucks to the win. Not only does Vancouver have one of the best lines in hockey again but team must now account for a very productive second and third line. It’s been a long time since the Canucks could say that!

The Vancouver defense seems to be thriving in John Tortarella’s defensive scheme as well. Roberto Luongo is 7-1-2 in his past 10 starts for the Canucks, and has allowed two goals or fewer in six straight games – he has been solid – making Mike Gillis look like a genius, not the buffoon many have made him out to be.

The LA Kings have been dealing with some injuries – Jarret Stoll (upper body) is day-to-day and Jeff Carter (lower body) is on injured reserve – two big omissions for this team.

They are coming off a win versus Buffalo – but that is hardly a confidence-inspiring feat!
Some of the other stars on the Kings roster have stepped up however – Anze Kopitar has three goals and two assists during a three game point streak and Mike Richards has two goals and two assists during a three game point streak.

The Kings will need every bit of those guys Saturday night against a Canucks team that comes in hot and full of confidence after handling the Sharks in San Jose Thursday.

Justin Williams also has nine points in eight games and Drew Doughty has three points in his last three games.

No matter how LA’s offense looks, they will always have difference maker Jonathan Quick to fall back on. He shut out the Sabres the other night and is now 9-5-0 on the year with a 2.48 GAA and .901 save percentage.

Quick has a knack of saving his best for the Canucks and his shutout last time out was a very good primer for Saturday night’s clash.

Betting Prediction:

A few trends to consider:

• VAN are 3-9 in their last 12 vs. Pacific.
• VAN are 6-2 in their last 8 overall.
• Over is 5-2-2 in VAN last 9 vs. Pacific.
• Under is 8-2 in LA last 10 vs. Pacific.
• LA are 46-14 in their last 60 home games.
• LA are 4-9 in their last 13 games following a win.

The Kings are banged up – two big players will be out of their lineup Saturday. It appears as though teams will need all hands on deck to beat a Canucks team that is 7-2-2 on the road this year. This simply won’t be the case for the Kings Saturday.

Vancouver played very well Thursday night – I see it spilling over to Saturday. There is no way the Sedins with the way they are playing get shut down two games in a row and with the way the second and third lines are playing, Vancouver looks like the deeper, more confident squad.

Take the underdog in this one.

Pick: Vancouver Canucks +116


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About DaveB

Dave B has been a Fantasy Football writer for us for 10 years. A couch potato wannabe, Dave’s insights have been read by 10’s of people for years. He hope’s for world peace + global relaxation. Enjoy and remember only smoke things that are completely natural.