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L.A. Kings vs. Detroit Red Wings Free Picks & NHL Preview

Kings vs Red Wings NHL Spread/Handicapping

Kings Look to Spoil Red Wings Playoff Aspirations

It has been 21 years since the NHL world was talking about the Detroit Red Wings not being a part of the Stanley Cup Playoffs but the possibility exists that the impressive streak of post season appearances could be coming to an end.

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Los Angeles Kings (26-15-1-4) at Detroit Red Wings (21-16-3-5)
When: 7:30 PM ET, Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Broadcast: TSN2, NBCSN
Kings vs. Wings Betting Lines from Bovada
Los Angeles Kings +1½ -280 +110 Ov 5 -103
Detroit Red Wings -1½ +235 -121 Un 5 -107

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On Wednesday night, the Wings host the defending Stanley Cup Champs one point back of the Columbus Blue Jackets with a game in hand. Detroit’s playoff fate is in their own hands – win the last three games of the regular season and extend the streak. Wednesday represents the rubber match of three meetings between LA and Detroit. The Detroit Red Wings won 3-2 Feb. 10; the Los Angeles Kings were victorious 2-1 Feb. 27.

The LA Kings are coming off yet another road loss on Tuesday night – a 2-1 defeat at the hands of the Wild in Minnesota. The Kings are 8-11-4 on the road so far and will need to shore up their issues on the road if they are to have any chance at repeating this year. Prior to the loss, the Kings had gone 4-1-1 in their last six games and a very good 6-2-2 in their last 10 games overall.

Los Angeles has been an OK offensive team this year – far and away better than the team that won it all last year. But they have slowed down the production slightly as of late. On the year the team has averaged 2.76 goals per game but they have failed to score more than two in six of their last seven games overall. Defenseman Drew Doughty has five goals in April after scoring one before it and forward Mike Richards has six points in his past six games to pace the Kings. They are winning tight games – sound familiar?

To nobody’s surprise, the Kings have been a very good defensive team allowing an average of 2.37 goals per game. Jonathan Quick got the night off in Minnesota and has four wins in his past five games with a 1.72 goals-against average and .931 save percentage. He is a true difference maker and is ramping up his stellar play as the regular season draws to a close – sound familiar? [ad-4437448]

The Detroit Red Wings certainly haven’t made things easy on themselves down the stretch – they are 4-5-3 in their last 12 games overall and are 2-3-2 in their last seven at Joe Lewis Arena where they had been absolutely money the last decade. But they came up with a huge 4-0 win Monday night against Phoenix to keep their playoff hopes alive. They showed poise, quickness and home ice domination in that game – something that had been missing in Hockeytown almost the whole season.

Goal scoring had been an issue before their “explosion” Monday night. Prior to their 4-0 win the Wings averaged just 1.73 goals in their previous 11 games. Pavel Datsyuk has just one goal in his last 10 regular-season games and has two goals in his last 12 games overall – he was again held pointless Monday night. Henrik Zetterberg had three assists Monday, Johan Franzen broke his slump and scored twice and Damien Brunner had a goal and two assists to lead the way.

Defensively, the Wings looked just OK Monday but they benefitted from a strong game by Jimmy Howard who posted his second shutout in nine days. He has allowed more than two goals just once in his past eight games overall. Detroit seems to be in good hands between the pipes – a good sign for the desperate club.

Betting Prediction

A few trends to consider:
• Over is 8-1-2 in LA last 11 road games.
• Under is 14-4-4 in LA last 22 Wed. games.
• LA are 14-4 in their last 18 Wed. games.
• Under is 15-5-4 in DET last 24 vs. Pacific.
• Over is 12-4-2 in DET last 18 Wed. games.
• Under is 16-6-4 in DET last 26 overall.
• LA are 5-21-1 in the last 27 meetings in Detroit.
• LA are 17-37-2 in the last 56 meetings.

The Detroit Red Wings have certainly gotten the better of the Kings in the Motor City the past few seasons -22 wins in 27 meetings but that was when Lidstrom, Holmstrom and Rafalski led the way. Names like Danny DeKeyser and Gustav Nyquist, and 24-year-olds Joakim Andersson, Cory Emmerton and Brendan Smith are carrying the torch now – not quite the same! Los Angeles still has a lot to play for – they are battling San Jose for the fourth seed in the West. Coming off a loss, and having Jonathan Quick back between the pipes, expect LA to bounce back in the win column and to induce some more sweat from Wings fans.

Pick: LA Kings +110

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