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NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Prediction: Kings vs. Hurricanes (January 31)

NHL Odds, Preview, Expert Prediction: Kings vs. Hurricanes (January 31) article feature image

Jaylynn Nash/Getty Images. Pictured: Brent Burns

  • The Carolina Hurricanes host the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday night in a matchup of top NHL contenders.
  • Carolina is particularly hot of late, having taking down the league-leading Bruins last time out.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including how to bet it.

Kings vs. Hurricanes Odds

Kings Odds +168
Hurricanes Odds -205
Over/Under 6 (-105/-115)
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV NHL Network
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Still at work when most NHL teams are on their All-Star Break vacations, the Los Angeles Kings and Carolina Hurricanes will meet up in Raleigh on Tuesday as one of three games on the slate.

The Kings are wrapping up a long eastern road trip, where they’ve gone 3-2-0 so far. The Hurricanes are on a five-game winning streak and coming off a satisfying 4-1 takedown of the league-leading Boston Bruins last Sunday.

Here’s the latest on both teams, and your best bet for Tuesday’s contest.

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Los Angeles Kings

With a recent swoon by the Vegas Golden Knights, the standings in the Pacific Division are getting tight. Just three points separate first-place Seattle (63 pts) from fourth-place Edmonton (60 pts). The Kings sit third with 62, but will have played three more games than the Oilers after Tuesday night.

After a surprising playoff appearance last season, the Kings have quietly stayed in the mix this year — with a big nod to journeyman goaltender Pheonix Copley, who has carried the load in net for the better part of the last two months.

Copley is now 15-3-0, with 1.1 goals saved above expected, and got the night off when the Kings dropped a 5-2 decision to the Tampa Bay Lighting on Saturday. He should slot back in for his team’s last game before the All-Star Break.

The Kings play a well-structured game, controlling 52.23% of expected goals at 5-on-5. Their power play can hurt opponents, but is just 2-for-13 on this road trip. But Copley’s 2.82 goals-against average gives Los Angeles a chance to win nearly every night.

Carolina Hurricanes

Riding a five-game winning streak, the Hurricanes are currently the hottest team in the league. They’re second overall in the NHL standings, nine points behind league-leading Boston, but dished out a 4-1 smackdown on the Bruins in their last game on Sunday.

The Hurricanes look elite this season from almost any angle. They control 59.78% of expected goals at 5-on-5, more than four percent better than any other team.

They’ve got three solid goaltenders in the fold — currently running with Antti Raanta and Frederik Andersen, who’s 5-0-0 since returning from injury in mid-January and hasn’t given up more than two goals in a game so far in 2023.

The Canes may not be as offensively dangerous as you’d like from a top team, but they make up for it with their smart play and timely scoring.

And a testament to Carolina’s team play: the last four wins have come without arguably its most important defenseman, Jaccob Slavin. He’s listed as day-to-day with a lower-body injury, but the Canes have managed well with Dylan Coghlan playing a regular role.

Kings vs. Hurricanes Pick

The Kings will wrap up a six-game, 12-day road trip on Tuesday that took them from the west coast to Nashville, Chicago and Philadelphia before veering down south. The team has showed impressive resilience, avoiding injury and faring relatively well, especially when Copley’s in net. But will the siren song of the impending 10 days off prove to be a distraction?

The Canes face a different mental challenge — pressing on through a busy part of their schedule that sees them playing five games in eight nights, with one more to come on Wednesday. They may also be poised for a potential letdown following their big win over Boston.

Certainly, the Hurricanes have the edge on paper, and they earned the 4-2 win when they visited Los Angeles back in December. It makes sense for them to be strong favorites, but there’s enough potential variability in this situation that the road dogs could cause an upset — especially if Slavin is missing once again. Just look back at Carolina’s last loss — a 4-3 home-ice shootout defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks on Jan. 15.

If you’re feeling bold, back the Kings on the moneyline at a juicy +175 on DraftKings. If you’re looking for a safer bet, consider the under as both these well-disciplined sides daydream about their All-Star Break vacations.

Pick: Under 6 (-130 or Better)

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