NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Bruins (March 7)
Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: David Pastrnak, Charlie Coyle and Jeremy Swayman
- The Bruins are home favorites against a Kings team Boston just beat 7-0 a week ago.
- Both teams have been among the hottest sides in the NHL over the last handful of games.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of Monday night's matchup, including a betting prediction.
Kings vs. Bruins Odds
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Los Angeles Kings travel to Beantown on Monday night to take on the Boston Bruins. It’ll be the second and final time these teams face off as the Bruins throttled the Kings in LA 7-0 a week ago.
Los Angeles is rolling and showing no signs of stopping. After a mediocre start to the season, the Kings currently stand at second in the Pacific Division. They’re 7-3 in their last 10 after shutting out Buffalo on Sunday.
The Bruins are also pretty hot these days. They’ve won two in a row and have gone 7-2-1 in their last 10 as they look to jump out of their number one wild card spot and into the top three of the stacked Atlantic Division.
Kings Having Resurgent Season
The Kings are opening a lot of eyes in Southern California. Many expected this to be in another rebuilding year, but Los Angeles has exceeded those expectations. The Kings have a deep team led by captain Anze Kopitar, and have gotten exceptional contributions from players like Viktor Arvidsson, Adrian Kempe and Philip Danualt.
The Kings have done a wonderful job at generating play this season. While they don’t score a ton of goals (2.93 GPG), they are ninth in expected goals with a 52.65 xGF% and create the second-most high danger chances. Special teams are their downfall, however, as they only score on the power play at a 16.2% clip.
The Kings’ 5-on-5 defense is their strength, because they only allow 2.82 goals per game. Goaltending has kept them in games because teams create a good amount of high danger chances against them. Their penalty kill is abysmal, though, as they only have a 75.3% success rate (27th).
Since Cal Petersen shut out the Sabres on Sunday, expect the veteran Jonathan Quick to start against Boston tonight. Quick has had sort of a resurgence season as he holds a .908 SV% and quality +10.9 GSAx (Goals Saved Above Expected).
Bruins’ Roster Deep and Healthy
It seems like the Bruins are consistently the top of the class each season. People counted them out after a rough exit in the playoffs last year, but here they are again. The B’s are both deep and healthy, led by David Pastrnak and Brad Marchand (who average over a point per game), with guys like captain Patrice Bergeron and Taylor Hall providing legitimate production.
Boston has done a solid job on the offensive end, scoring 3.02 goals per game which is 16th in the league. The Bruins do a wonderful job at driving play as they’re third in expected goals with a 55.85 xGF, but they don’t generate a ton of high danger chances. The B’s excel with the man advantage, scoring 24.2% of the time.
On the other side of the puck, the Bruins are one of the best teams in the league. They don’t allow many goals (2.68 Goals against per game), nor do they allow many high danger chances (first), and their penalty kill is superb. Boston’s PK is successful 81.8% of the time, which is good enough for 10th.
Ever since getting called back up from the minors, Jeremy Swayman has played like a man possessed. The young netminder is currently posting a .927 SV% and a +12.4 GSAx. He’s split starts with Swedish goaltender Linus Ullmark who hasn’t been bad, but could be a lot better. Ullmark has a .908 SV% and a -5.6 GSAx.
I think Swayman could see the crease, but Ullmark hasn’t played in a week, so it could be up in the air.
Kings vs. Bruins Pick
These are two pretty solid defensive teams with great goaltending and a lot to play for. The Kings are probably seeking revenge on Boston, which embarrassed them in their home arena last week.
This game will be a standoff. While Boston is tremendous on the power play, and LA is terrible on the PK, it could signal Boston’s opening. However, the Kings take the seventh-fewest penalties per game, so this game could be won off special teams.
The defensive numbers lead me to think that there is some value in betting the under.
Pick: Under 6 (+100)