NHL Odds, Pick, Preview: Back the Blues to Repeat in Rematch (October 25)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Binnington.
- Los Angeles and St. Louis play each other for the second time in three days on Monday night.
- The Blues are off to an unbeaten, 4-0-0 start, while the Kings haven't won since their season opener.
- Check out Carol Schram's breakdown and top pick for the game, below.
Kings at Blues Odds
|Time||8 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
In a throwback to last season’s baseball-style NHL schedule, the St. Louis Blues will host the Los Angeles Kings for the second time in three days on Monday.
Unbeaten St. Louis improved to 4-0-0 with a 7-3 beatdown of the Kings on Saturday night. And while Los Angeles will likely come out with a better effort on Monday, the Blues are one of this season’s early juggernaut teams, well-deserved favorites to repeat with another win.
Kings Could Be Without Defensive Leader
After opening their season with a 6-2 shellacking of the Vegas Golden Knights, the Kings have had trouble generating offense. They’ve averaged just two goals a game in their four subsequent outings. Even Anze Kopitar, who had six goals in the Kings’ first four games, went pointless on Saturday against the Blues.
At the opposite end of the ice, defense had been a strength. But after blue-line leader Drew Doughty left Friday’s game against Dallas following a knee-on-knee collision with Stars defender Jani Hakanpaa, the Kings were left scrambling against St. Louis one night later. Los Angeles took a season-high seven penalties — and the Blues made them pay, scoring four power-play goals. Meanwhile, the Kings went 0-for-4 with the man advantage and gave up a season-high 40 shots.
Early reports suggest that Doughty’s injury is a mild knee sprain and is not as serious as it first appeared. It would be surprising to see him draw back in on Monday, but if he does, that would improve the Kings’ outlook.
In net, Cal Petersen took the loss on Saturday, slipping to 1-2-0 for the season. Sunday was a day off for both teams, so there won’t be word until Monday morning at the earliest whether the Kings plan to go back with Petersen or turn to Jonathan Quick. He’s 0-1-1 and last played Friday, in the 3-2 overtime loss to the Stars.
Blues Remain Unbeaten
Everything has gone right for the Blues in the early going. They’re averaging 5.5 goals a game — tops in the league — and are second only to Edmonton with a power-play that’s now 6-for-14, or 42.7%, after Saturday night’s explosion.
The offense is coming from everywhere, with nine players averaging a point or more per game game. Winger Jordan Kyrou is the breakout star, with eight points so far. Vladimir Tarasenko is looking like his old self again, with four points, and David Perron’s Saturday hat trick already gives him five goals for the season — just one off the league lead.
With just one goal allowed by the penalty kill this season, the Blues have a tremendous 92.3% success rate while shorthanded. In net, Jordan Binnington is bringing back memories of his red-hot run to the 2019 Stanley Cup. Binnington has played every minute so far this season, putting up a .919 save percentage and 2.75 goals-against average.
And those numbers may not even reflect how good he has been. St. Louis has won all four of its games by margins of two goals or more, and six of the 11 goals that Binnington has allowed this year have effectively come in garbage time, with his team holding a big third-period lead.
Kings vs. Blues Pick
On top of all their on-ice success, the Blues are also in the midst of a comfortable homestand. Saturday was their home opener; after Monday’s game, they’ll get two days off before hosting the Colorado Avalanche.
Meanwhile, the Kings will be finishing off a four-game road trip on Monday night, with their third game in four nights. That’s a tough scenario to overcome, even when a team isn’t missing its best defenseman while facing one of the hottest squads in the league.
As long as they’re not overconfident, the Blues should easily earn their second home win of the year on Monday. And while no streak lasts forever, the wide winning margins for St. Louis so far this season suggest that this could be a good opportunity to bet the puck line for a bigger potential return.
At +135, DraftKings gives the Blues about a 42% chance of beating the Kings by two goals or more. Seems reasonable.
Pick: Blues puck line (+135); play down to +120.