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L.A. Kings vs. St. Louis Blues Free Picks & NHL Preview

Kings vs Blues NHL Spread/Handicapping

Kings and Blues Continue their Push for the Playoffs Thursday Night

Two teams holding down playoff positions in the Western Conference meet in a very important game Thursday night as the LA Kings, a winner last time out against the best team in the NHL Chicago take on the scuffling St. Louis Blues who have lost three of their last four games overall.

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Los Angeles Kings (18-12-1-1) at St. Louis Blues (17-13-1-1)
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, March 28, 2013
Where: Scottrade Center, St. Louis, Missouri
Broadcast: NHLN-US, FS-W, FS-MW
Kings vs. Blues Betting Lines from BetDSI
Los Angeles Kings +1½ -265 +119 Ov 5 -110
St Louis Blues -1½ +225 -131 Un 5 +100

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The Kings currently occupy sixth place in the West, two points ahead of seventh place St. Louis. LA has won both meetings between the teams so far this season scoring 10 goals along the way.

The Kings’ drought of over 150 minutes without scoring a goal came to an abrupt end Monday night in an impressive 5-4 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. An all-too-familiar struggle to score reared its ugly head before the Chicago game resulting in Los Angeles’s three game road losing streak.

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The Kings still remain one of the better offenses in the NHL averaging 2.88 goals per game. But outside of Anze Kopitar who has 3 goals and seven assists in his last 10 games, nobody is exactly lighting it up for this team. Jeff Carter is pointless in four games, Justin Williams is pointless in three games and Dustin Brown and Slava Voynov have registered just one point in their last five games.

Kopitar has three goals and six assists in his last five games against St. Louis including the playoffs last year.

It is a good thing for defense and goaltending although they gave up four last goals time out. The Kings surrender an average of 2.47 goals per game. Jonathan Quick has been terrific against the Blues – he has won seven of his last eight in the regular season and playoffs posting an incredible 1.04 GAA over that span.[ad-4437448]

The St. Louis Blues are in a downward spiral prompting Coach Ken Hitchcock to call a closed-door meeting with the team after a 3-0 loss to Edmonton Tuesday night. The problem lately has been offense – the Blues have been held to two goals or less in four of their last five games and have two goals in the last two games while firing 81 shots at their opposition’s keeper.

TJ Oshie is the only Blue that is playing well offensively – two goals and an assist in his last three games. There are many St. Louis players struggling. David Perron and Vladimir Terasenko are pointless in their last three games,

Alex Pietrangelo is pointless in five games, Barrett Jackman is pointless in six, David Backes hasn’t scored in 12 games and Kevin Shattenkirk has not registered a point in eight games.

The defense and goaltending have been letting the Blues down too as of late. Goaltender Jake Allen had a 2.09 GAA while winning right of his first nine starts this year but he has been unflattering in his last two starts – six goals on 26 shots.

He’s 0-2-0 with a 4.29 GAA and awful .769 save % age in those games.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:

• Under is 14-5 in LA last 19 Thu. games.
• LA are 20-9 in their last 29 games following a win.
• LA are 13-6 in their last 19 overall.
• Under is 6-2-1 in STL last 9 home games.

Nothing appears to be going right for the St. Louis Blues at the moment – they are not scoring and they are not getting their patented stellar goaltending. Although the Kings appear a tad untrustworthy at this point in time, I like them to win on the road against a struggling Blues team.

It isn’t that the Kings are playing great; it is that they have hit the Blues at exactly the right time.

Pick: LA Kings +119


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