NHL Odds, Preview, Prediction: Kings vs. Islanders
Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Ilya Sorokin
- The Kings continue their road trip with a game against the Islanders as the second leg of a back-to-back.
- Meanwhile, the Islanders have won two in a row and are battling for a spot in the postseason.
- Tony Sartori shares his best bet below.
Kings vs. Islanders Odds
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Metropolitan Division’s New York Islanders host the Pacific Division’s Los Angeles Kings in this cross-country tilt.
Los Angeles enters this contest on the second half of a back-to-back, while New York looks to win its third straight game.
Here’s a look at the odds, as well as our betting pick and prediction for Kings vs. Islanders.
Los Angeles Kings
Since the Los Angeles Kings enter this contest on the second half of a back-to-back, goaltender Jonathan Quick is slated to get the nod between the pipes. There is no denying it has been an extremely difficult campaign for the veteran netminder, but perhaps this matchup will turn things around for him.
Quick has fared extremely well against the New York Islanders throughout his career, boasting a .915 save percentage (SV%) and a 2.26 goals against average (GAA) across 12 starts. Considering New York’s struggles scoring the puck this season, Quick’s good fortune could easily continue.
What makes Quick’s job much easier is the fact that the Kings are one of the better two-way teams in the league, in large because of a forward group with a bunch of great back-checkers. Anze Kopitar, Phillip Danault and Trevor Moore all make life extremely difficult for opposing skaters, although Moore is questionable for this contest with an upper-body injury.
Mix together a strong blue line and a forward group willing to play in all three zones and it’s not shocking that Los Angeles ranks sixth in the league in expected goals against per 60 minutes (xGA/60) at 5-on-5. However, things have not gone as well offensively this season as the Kings rank in the bottom-half of the league in expected goals for per 60 minutes (xGF/60) at 5-on-5.
New York Islanders
The Islanders enter this contest amidst a flurry of low-scoring contests as there have been six or fewer goals scored in eight of their past 12 games. A large part of that trend is the play of goaltender Ilya Sorokin, one of the best netminders on the planet.
The third-favorite in the Vezina Trophy race, Sorokin boasts a .925 SV% and a 2.39 GAA through 44 appearances. Entering this game in particularly dominant form, he is 3-0-1 with a .940 SV% and a 2.21 GAA over his past four starts.
Based on his metrics, regression is unlikely for the Isles’ netminder. Among starting goaltenders, Sorokin ranks first in goals saved above expected per 60 minutes (GSAx/60) at 5-on-5.
However, goal support will be Sorokin’s the biggest concern. At 5-on-5, New York ranks in the bottom-half of the league in xGF/60.
Kings vs. Islanders Pick
Both of these teams play at an extremely slow pace and struggle offensively, which should help us cash this under. Sorokin is typically a safe goaltender to take the under on as there have been six or fewer goals scored in five of his past seven starts.
Meanwhile, the Islanders struggle to create offense, which is problematic against a team that back-checks almost as well as anyone else in the league. Not only is the Kings’ blue line strong, but their forward group consists of a bunch of talented two-way guys who make life frustrating for the opposition.
While you have to lay a bit of extra juice to take the under at six, I would much rather do that than take this total at 5.5.
Pick: Under 6 | Play to -145
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