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NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Ducks vs. Kings (December 20)

NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Ducks vs. Kings (December 20) article feature image
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Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Alex Iafallo

  • The Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks meet in an NHL matchup on Tuesday night.
  • L.A. is one of the top teams in the league and is a big favorite over struggling Anaheim.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Ducks vs. Kings Odds

Ducks Odds +215
Kings Odds -265
Over/Under 6.5 (+106/-130)
Time 10:30 p.m. ET
TV BSW
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

The Battle of SoCal takes place Tuesday night as the Anaheim Ducks face the Los Angeles Kings. Anaheim has not had it easy all season. The Ducks have nine wins, but only three in regulation and have gone 3-5-2 in their last 10. However, the good news for them is that they’ve won two in a row.

Sitting pretty at second in the Pacific Division, the Kings have had a good run in their last 10 games. Similar to their cross-town rivals, they’ve also won two in a row, but are 5-3-2 in their last 10 games.

So, who wins the matchup in sunny California?

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Anaheim Ducks

Despite the Ducks struggles this season, I like the young talent on their team. Troy Terry and Trevor Zegras are blooming superstars in this league, while Mason MacTavish is having a successful rookie season. They’ve also benefited from having veterans like Ryan Strome and Adam Henrique to help the young bucks come into their own.

The Ducks’ record should show you all they are, but if you don’t believe it, their even strength numbers are even worse. They place last in expected goals with a 39.08 xGF% and generate just over eight high danger chances per game. As expected, the power play is dreadful, as they only score 15.9% of the time with the man advantage.

Not only is their offense porous, but the defense is also a disaster. They allow 3.42 xGA/60 and a league worst 67.2% success rate on the penalty kill

John Gibson has seen the majority of the games in net. While the American netminder is largely considered one of the best, even he hasn’t been able to get the Ducks over the hump. However, Gibson has been on the injured list as of late and is considered day-to-day and Lukas Dostal has seen the ice in their past two games. Dostal helped the Ducks win in regulation twice in a row which is a rarity for them, posting a +1.0 GSAx and an .898 SV%.


Los Angeles Kings

The Kings are certainly reaping the benefits of the Kevin Fiala sign-and-trade that they made over the offseason. Fiala is averaging a point per game while captain Anze Kopitar has a good chance at winning a Selke Trophy as still one of the better two-way players in the game. They’ve also gotten incredible value from Gabe Vilardi and Philip Danault.

The charts seem to favor L.A.’s even-strength game as it places in the top 10 in expected goals with a 52.37 xGF%. Along with that, the Kings do a great job at creating high danger chances, averaging just under 10 per game. The Kings have a real solid power play as well, as they score at a 23.1% rate.

Defensively, they’ve held up pretty well, only allowing 2.41 xGA/60, but they struggle mightily on the penalty kill with a 70.9% success rate.

After waiving Cal Petersen, the Kings have relied a ton on veteran Jonathan Quick. Quick had a resurgence season last year, but seems to be regressing this year. Goalies with the miles Quick has and at the age of 36, you never know what you’re going to get, playing to a -11.1 GSAx and an .882 SV%.

There’s a chance Pheonix Copley gets the nod, though, as he played the last three games. In five starts, Copley is playing to a +0.1 GSAx and a .904 SV%.

Ducks vs. Kings Pick

This will be the first time these two division rivals square off this season, but it doesn’t carry much weight given Anaheim’s struggles. This season we’ve seen a trend: the Ducks have the potential to keep games close, but there are games where they lose big time as 17 out of their 23 losses have been by two or more goals.

The Kings have been one of the better teams in the West and hold the third-best record, so I’m sure they can pull this one out in the win column. Facing one of the worst teams in the league that has faced defeat by a large margin in most of its losses gives me hope that the Kings can defeat the Ducks big time.

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