January 23, 2014 at 2:32 PM #53118
Qbin Missile CrisisKeymaster
Stadium Series Appetizer – Ducks Host Kings Thursday Night
Two of the best teams in the Western Conference meet in a prelude to the outdoor game between the two sides this Saturday at Dodger Stadium. These same teams will meet in the much anticipated first outdoor game in a warm weather climate. Both teams enter Thursday night’s game in a bit of a slump – for the Kings they have gone 4-8-2 in their last 14 games and for the Ducks they have dropped two of their last three games after going 18-1 including their first regulation loss on home ice this season – a 3-2 decision to the Jets on Tuesday night.
Los Angeles (29-16-2-4) at Anaheim (37-10-1-4)
When: 10:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 23, 2014
Where: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
Broadcast: NHLN-US, FS-W, PRIME
Kings vs. Ducks Betting Lines from betonline.com
Los Angeles Kings +1½ -225 +134 Ov 5 -116
Anaheim Ducks -1½ +195 -147 Un 5 +105
The Los Angeles Kings enter Thursday’s game having lost three games in a row – not a whole lot is going right for the team at the present time. They are coming off a 5-3 loss at Columbus in a game that they gave up an uncharacteristic five goals. Martin Jones started that game so we can expect to see Jonathan Quick between the pipes Thursday. Quick has been terrific since returning from a groin injury – a 1.60 GAA in eight games. He has been superb recently versus the Ducks as well – 5-0-0 in his last six starts with a 2.13 GAA.
Goal scoring has been an issue for the Kings during their recent slide – sound familiar? The Kings average 2.45 goals per game but they have been under that in their last 10. Jeff Carter continues to be the best King – he has a goal in four straight games and has 21 points in his last 20 games while Drew Doughty and Trevor Lewis each have three points in four games and Mike Richards has a goal and four assists in his last three games – that’s it for the Hot List in LA.
Dwight King leads the list of struggling Kings – he has one point in seven games while Dustin Brown is pointless in his last four.
It appears as though the old formula will have to remain constant for the Kings – defense and goaltending will have to reign supreme for them to have a chance.
The Anaheim Ducks have been insane this year – losing two of their last three games is hardly anything to panic about. Their offense is still top notch averaging 3.36 goals per game and the defense and goaltending are responsible for a very respectable 2.40 goals against per game.
Ryan Getzlaf has led the way offensively for Anaheim – he has an eight game point streak heading into Thursday’s game (5 goals and 7 assists). Corey Perry has six points in four games, Cam Fowler has three points in three games and Matt Boesky has two points in two games. Anaheim isn’t scorching offensively like they were at this time last week but they are still a threat to score each and every shift.
The defense has let the Ducks down the last week – Jonas Hiller is 0-2-0 with a 3.79 GAA and .867 save percentage in his last two starts. He is better than he has been playing and will bounce back sooner than later.
Betting Prediction: A few trends to consider:
• LA are 1-8 in their last 9 road games.
• LA are 8-2 in their last 10 Thu. games.
• Under is 13-4-5 in LA last 22 vs. Pacific.
• ANA are 13-3 in their last 16 vs. Pacific.
• Over is 7-2 in ANA last 9 vs. Western Conference.
• ANA are 38-13 in their last 51 home games.
• LA are 6-2 in the last 8 meetings.
The Ducks haven’t lost two straight in regulation since the middle of November. It’s hard to imagine the Kings breaking that string. Nobody will blame either team for looking forward to Saturday’s event but business is business and the Ducks have been taking care of that in spades lately.
Pick: Anaheim Ducks -147
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