NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Blues (October 31)
Juan Ocampo/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Kings player Kevin Fiala
Kings vs. Blues Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
The St. Louis Blues got off to an incredible start this season, but are in a bit of a slump and have lost four straight. The Blues have been very sloppy defensively during this span and will need to tighten things up in order to slow down a strong Los Angeles Kings team.
The Kings have won two of their past three contests and are looking to stay hot in this matchup. This will be the Kings’ first game of a back-to-back so it will be interesting to if they start Jonathan Quick or Cal Petersen in goal.
Los Angeles Kings
The Kings have looked very good on offense, but things haven’t been as smooth defensively. The Kings offense ranks seventh in the NHL, is scoring 3.50 goals per game and also skating to a 52.21% expected goals and a +2.52 goals for above expected. Kevin Fiala has been an excellent fit in Los Angeles after coming over from the the Minnesota Wild during the offseason. Fiala is second on the team with nine points (2 goals, 7assists) in 10 games.
The Kings’ netminders haven’t gotten off on the right foot. Jonathan Quick has started a majority of the games, although he didn’t play in the most recent win against the Maple Leafs. Quick is skating to a 2-4-0 record with a .878 SV% and 3.81 GAA. Quick is a much better goalie than these numbers show.
Cal Petersen got the win in the team’s last game and made 28 saves on 30 shots faced. Petersen is 3-1-0 on the season with a .865 SV% and 4.10 GAA. The Kings have allowed 10 goals in their past three games.
The Kings are going to have their chances offensively, but the key to winning this game is slowing down the St. Louis’ offense. Quick and Peterson haven’t been all that confident in goal, so whoever starts will have a very tough test.
St. Louis Blues
The St. Louis Blues are coming off their worst loss of the season. They lost 7-4 on home ice to a weak Montreal Canadiens team. Jordan Binnington allowed six goals against on 24 shots faced, which is very uncharacteristic of him. Aside from that game, Binnington has been pretty solid this season as he is 3-2-0 with a .903 SV% and 2.60 GAA, but he has a -0.3 GSAx.
The Blues power play has been absolutely buzzing this season and is ranked fourth in the league, converting at a 29.4% rate. The Blues have scored power-play goals in three straight games, which has been one positive during this losing streak.
St. Louis needs some of its big guns to step up a little bit more. Vladimir Tarasenko, Robert Thomas and Jordan Kyrou are off to decent starts, but all three have a lot more production in them. As a team, the Blues only have a 46.46% expected goals rating and a -4.52 goals for above expected. Things are a bit odd right now for St. Louis, but the Blues have the talent to figure it out.
Kings vs. Blues Pick
The Los Angeles Kings, despite some lackluster goaltending, have looked pretty solid this season and I’m confident both netminders will find their game and turn things around.
The Kings, in my opinion, have the edge over the Blues because Los Angeles is the third best team in the league when it comes to allowing high-danger chances against, only giving up 9.20 against per game. The Blues are the third worst team in the league in this same category, giving up 12.27 chances per game.
The Kings have momentum after their win against the Maple Leafs and the Blues confidence might be lacking after their recent loss to the Canadiens. I think the Kings come into St. Louis and come out with a win.
Pick: Los Angeles Kings Moneyline (+105)