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NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Kings vs. Sharks (March 12)

NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction: Kings vs. Sharks (March 12) article feature image
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Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Kings standout Anze Kopitar.

  • The San Jose Sharks host the Los Angeles Sharks in Saturday's NHL showdown.
  • These sides met Thursday, with the Sharks earning the 4-3 victory in overtime.
  • Carol Schram breaks down the game below and details why she's expecting plenty of goals from these Western Conference rivals.

Kings vs. Sharks Odds

Kings Odds -135
Sharks Odds +110
Over/Under 5.5
Time 9:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.

Familiarity breeds contempt, with the San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings seeing a lot of each other right now.

The two Pacific Division foes will be midway through three games in a week when they do battle Saturday at the Shark Tank in San Jose. On Thursday, Tomas Hertl played hero and rookie netminder Zach Sawchenko earned his first NHL win, as the Sharks edged the Kings, 4-3, in overtime in Los Angeles.

That gives San Jose a 2-0 lead in the season series, which wraps up back in Los Angeles next Thursday.

Here’s the latest on both teams and your best bet for this clash.

Los Angeles Kings

Sitting comfortably in second place in the division, the Kings look like they’re set to return the postseason for the first time in four years. They haven’t won a playoff round since lifting the Stanley Cup in 2014, but four players from that championship group are still on the current roster: forwards Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, defenseman Drew Doughty and goaltender Jonathan Quick.

All four still play important roles, but Doughty missed Thursday’s game against the Sharks with an illness. As of Friday afternoon, his status for this game remains unclear.

The Kings have also suffered a handful of key injuries. They’re now missing top-six winger Viktor Arvidsson, agitator Brendan Lemieux and defenseman Mikey Anderson on top of longer-term injuries to Alex Edler and Sean Walker. Jordan Spence, a 21-year-old fourth-round pick from 2019, became the first Australian-born player ever to suit up for an NHL game when he lined up on the Kings’ blue line in Thursday’s matchup.

Quick took the loss on Thursday, and the Kings have been easing the veteran’s workload of late. He has started 33 of Los Angeles’s 59 games to date this season, but just four of the last 10. Cal Petersen has done well with his increased workload, going 5-1-0 in his last six starts with a .915 save percentage and 2.33 goals-against average.

All told, the Kings have been one of the hottest teams since the All-Star break, with an 8-3-1 record. However, even though they hold a 25-point edge on the Sharks in the standings, they’re now 0-1-1 against their northern rivals this year after Timo Meier lit them up for five goals in a 6-2 loss back in January.

San Jose Sharks

The Sharks have had a pretty miserable six weeks since the All-Star Break. They’ve cobbled together a record of 3-5-3 while averaging a league-worst 2.00 goals per game scored and surrendering 3.55. They haven’t won consecutive games since beating Buffalo, Philadelphia and Detroit on the road back in early January.

However, they did show a pulse this week by grabbing three of a possible four points, dropping a 3-2 overtime decision in Anaheim on Sunday before taking out the Kings in Thursday’s game.

The Sharks also welcomed Erik Karlsson back to their lineup Thursday, after he had missed 15 games following left forearm surgery. He provided an immediate boost to the moribund offense with two primary assists, including one on the power play.

In hockey, one player can only make so much of an impact, but it’s worth noting the Sharks’ current swoon coincides with Karlsson’s injury. He takes a lot of heat for his big contract, but with 28 points in 34 games and solid possession numbers, he does move the needle in a positive direction for San Jose.

The Sharks are still dealing with injuries to their goaltenders, which is how Sawchenko got tapped to start Thursday. After missing 15 games with a lower-body issue, Adin Hill is expected to return and get start here. However, he has been shaky, with a 9-11-1 record and -6.5 goals saved above expected.

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Kings vs. Sharks Pick

Based on how their seasons have gone, I don’t think anybody expected the Sharks to have the 2-0 lead in their series against the Kings at this point, but here we are. It’s a good reminder of the high level of randomness that’s inherent in the game of hockey.

There wasn’t much to choose between the two sides on Thursday. The Kings had a slight edge in possession at 5-on-5; the Sharks had the better special teams with a 2-for-6 power play and perfect 4-for-4 penalty kill.

San Jose’s January win was even more of an anomaly. Los Angeles held a 41-17 edge in shots in that game, but every time Timo Meier touched the puck, it ended up in the back of the net.

The Kings could be due for a regression that would more accurately reflect the true skill levels of these two teams, but it’s never easy to predict the timing of the whims of the hockey gods.

However, both games between these teams have comfortably beat the total of 5.5 goals. With Karlsson back to boost the offense and Hill potentially in net, there’s every reason to think that data point could replicate for San Jose.

Look for at least six goals when the Kings and Sharks square off in this game.

Pick: Total Over 5.5 Goals (-120 — play down to -135)

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