Kings vs. Golden Knights | NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction
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- The Golden Knights host the Kings on Thursday night in a Pacific Division clash.
- This game has huge implications in the standings and NHL playoff race.
- Continue reading for Nick Martin’s Kings vs. Golden Knights preview and pick.
Kings vs. Golden Knights Odds
|Golden Knights Odds||-120|
|Over/Under||6 (-110 / -110)|
|Time||10 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
Thursday’s matchup between the Kings and Golden Knights should be one of the best games on the slate as it has a ton of significance in terms of the Pacific division standings.
With just four games remaining, Vegas holds a one-point lead over the Oilers in the Pacific, and a four-point lead over the Kings.
Claiming the division should offer a massive boost, as the two vs. three matchup is setting up to be a nightmare with all three teams looking like legitimate contenders.
Los Angeles Kings
Despite playing without several important pieces, Los Angeles has displayed an extremely sharp team game recently with strong results.
In a gigantic matchup versus Edmonton on Tuesday, the Kings held the high-powered Oilers to just two shots in the first period, but ultimately came undone versus what will likely finish as the greatest powerplay in history.
Over the last 15 games, Los Angeles has played to a 53.98% expected goals rating, and continues to play a notably well-rounded team game.
The additions of Vladislav Gavrikov and Joonas Korpisalo have worked out exceptionally well, and if Los Angeles ever returns to full strength, it offers a roster capable of winning the West.
Kevin Fiala, Mikey Anderson and Gabriel Vilardi compile what is a quietly awful injury situation for the Kings, though it is likely one or two of them return for this game.
Anderson is arguably the most underrated player in the league, an analytical darling who has the incredible ability to suppress opposing chances. He’s missed the last three games but could be back tonight.
Vilardi has become one of the league’s more underrated two-way forwards himself, and he has generated 41 points in 63 games while playing stellar defense. He is exactly the type of unheralded player that has made the Kings strong the last two seasons.
Fiala, the Kings’ top scorer with 72 points in 69 games played, has been the driving force on what has become a top-10 power-play unit.
Korpisalo will likely start in goal after resting on Tuesday. He has played to a stellar +16.1 GSAx and .916 save % in 36 games.
Vegas Golden Knights
Vegas has stabilized after an alarmingly poor stretch of play at even strength over the last week — with impressive performances versus Minnesota and Nashville — but its overall form has still been relatively modest for a large sample.
Over the last 15 games, Vegas has played to a modest 50.84 xGF%, and has allowed 3.39 expected goals against per 60. A high 12.21% team shooting rate has hidden the team’s somewhat modest overall form.
A tough injury situation is a valid excuse, but outside of a potential return from top defender Shea Theodore, it’s not one likely to clear up soon.
It’s unclear whether Vegas will go with Jonathan Quick or Laurent Brossoit in goal, but neither option is overly convincing.
You would think Quick would be given the start given how badly he would like to face the Kings. There was clearly some anger after being traded at the deadline.
Quick has played to a -17.8 GSAx rating with a .881 save% in 40 appearances this season.
Kings vs. Golden Knights Pick
Los Angeles has defended significantly better at even strength than Vegas recently, and should be able to carry more of the overall play despite the underdog price tag. Particularly so if either of Fiala and Anderson return to the lineup, but especially so if both are back in the for the Kings.
Korpisalo has been extremely sharp since arriving in L.A., which is not as surprising as you might think considering his underlying numbers on a dreadful Columbus team earlier this season.
Quick and Brossoit are both at the other end of the spectrum. Each has played surprisingly well with the Knights, but neither project to be above average candidates moving forward.
+105 is a pretty strong number considering the elite play Los Angeles continues to display. I would back the Kings down to +100 assuming neither Fiala or Anderson play.
If both are back in to the lineup, I would be willing to back the Kings down to -115.
Pick: Kings ML +105 | Play to -115 if Fiala/Anderson play
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