Golden Knights vs Kings Odds, Prediction, Pick: Take Vegas on the Road (October 11)
Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Jack Eichel.
Golden Knights vs. Kings Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-105|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The back half of Tuesday's season-opening NHL doubleheader features a pair of Pacific Division rivals who have no love for each other.
The Vegas Golden Knights hold the historical edge against the Los Angeles Kings with a regular-season record of 13-9-3, a plus-5 goal differential, and one playoff series win — their first-round sweep in their very first postseason, back in the spring of 2018.
Vegas also held a slight edge in last year's season series, collecting five of a possible eight points with a 2-1-1 record. But it was the Kings who were still playing hockey in May, reaching the playoffs for the first time in four years and pushing the Edmonton Oilers to seven games before bowing out of their first-round series.
Here's a rundown of both teams' key offseason changes, a look at what we learned during preseason and your best bet for the game.
Vegas Golden Knights
Though they missed the playoffs last spring for the first time in their five-year history, the Golden Knights had a relatively quiet summer, by their standards. They moved on from Max Pacioretty, freeing up salary-cap space by trading him to the Carolina Hurricanes, and goaltender Robin Lehner is expected to miss the entire season as his injury woes continue.
After a strong showing in 19 games down the stretch, undrafted 25-year-old Logan Thompson will start his official rookie year as the Knights' No. 1 stopper. He looked solid in preseason, allowing just six goals over nearly 180 minutes of action for a .924 save percentage and 2.04 goals-against average.
Vegas is starting the season in relatively good health, with checking forward William Carrier the only player other than Lehner whose injury status could be a concern. Jack Eichel looked sharp in preseason, with seven points in four games on a line with Reilly Smith and new addition Phil Kessel, who's looking for a path back to relevance after three lost years in the desert with the Arizona Coyotes.
There's also a new voice behind the bench. Bruce Cassidy was the 2020 Jack Adams Award winner for his work with the Boston Bruins, and he is seen as a bright, demanding coach who gets the most out of his team.
Restricted free agent defenseman Nic Hague finally put pen to paper on his new three-year deal on Monday. But after missing all of training camp, he'll need a little time to get his game in order. He won't be ready to draw in against the Kings.
Los Angeles Kings
Injuries were also a major issue for the Kings last season, especially on their back end. But veterans Drew Doughty, Sean Walker and Matt Roy are all back in the lineup and ready to go, supported by precocious youngsters Sean Durzi and Mikey Anderson along with raw rookie Brandt Clarke, the eighth-overall pick from the 2021 draft who has cracked L.A.'s opening-night roster at the age of 19.
Up front, the Kings are hoping the addition of Kevin Fiala will give their offense a much-needed boost. In net, 36-year-old Jonathan Quick is expected to retain the starting role. Like Thompson, he was also sharp in preseason, allowing five goals in 153 minutes played for a 1.96 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.
Golden Knights vs. Kings Pick
Coming from the Eastern Conference, Bruce Cassidy brings fresh blood into this rivalry, and that element of surprise could work in the Golden Knights' favor. The Kings do hold home-ice advantage on Tuesday night, but it was their strong road record that propelled them into the playoffs last season. Quick was better away from Crypto.com Arena, as well.
The oddsmakers aren't being especially assertive on the line for this game. The two clubs have similar regular-season projections, with PointsBet setting the over-under at 98.5 regular-season points for Vegas and 95.5 for Los Angeles, so the Kings' edge on Tuesday basically comes down to their home-ice advantage.
As slight underdogs, the Golden Knights will have a golden opportunity to get their redemption tour off to a good start on Tuesday.
Take Vegas on the moneyline.
Pick: Golden Knights (-105); play down to -115