Squaring off for the third and final time this season, the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings meet at the Staples Center for a Western Conference showdown. The first puck will drop at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 3, and fans at home can view it live on NBC Sports Chicago.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings Odds
Los Angeles is 36-29 straight up (SU) and has earned 4.5 units for moneyline bettors this season. That winning percentage, ranked 2nd in the Pacific Division in this young season, is a welcome improvement over the 39-43 record from the 2016-17 season campaign. Out of the teams 65 regular season matches, 33 of them have gone under the total, while 29 have gone over and just three have pushed. This year, the team is 16-14 SU at home.
The Kings have converted on 20.5 percent of their power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is ranked second overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 83.9 percent of all penalties.
The Kings, as a collective unit, have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, and 2.8 per game over their last five outings home outings. The teams had to stave off opposition power plays for just 6.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings, in total.
Averaging 27.5 saves per game with a .922 save percentage, Jonathan Quick (25-25-2) has been the best option in goal for Los Angeles this year. If the Kings choose to rest him, however, Los Angeles might roll with Darcy Kuemper (10-9-9 record, .932 save percentage, 2.10 goals against average).
The Kings will continue to lean on the leadership out of Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty. Kopitar (70 points) has tallied 27 goals and 43 assists and has recorded multiple points on 20 different occasions this year. Doughty has eight goals and 36 assists to his name and has recorded at least one point in 33 games.
On the other side of the ice, Chicago is 27-37 straight up (SU) and has lost 15.3 units for bettors taking the moneyline this year. Through 64 regular season outings, 34 of its games have gone under the total, while 27 have gone over and just three have pushed. As an away team, the Blackhawks are 12-20 SU.
The Blackhawks have converted on just 15.5 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s ranked 30th in the NHL. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 13th overall and it’s successfully killed off 82.0 percent of all penalties.
Chicago’s skaters have been penalized only 3.5 times per game this season, and 1.4 per game over their past five games. The team has been forced to stave off opponent power plays just 7.0 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Corey Crawford (27.9 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Chicago. Crawford owns a 16-12-2 record, while registering a .929 save percentage and 2.27 goals against average this year.
For the visiting Blackhawks, the offense will be coordinated by Patrick Kane, who has 36 assists and 23 goals on the year.
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Los Angeles Kings Betting Predictions
NHL Pick: SU Winner – Blackhawks, O/U – Over
- Seven of Chicago’s last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 2-5 in those games.
- The extra-man advantage may prove to be even more critical than usual in this matchup. The Blackhawks are 21-17 in games where they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 19-23 when they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Kings are 13-9 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 23-14 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
- Los Angeles is 2-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while Chicago is 1-1 in shootouts.
- Los Angeles has averaged 2.9 goals per game overall this season, but has upped that figure to 4.0 per matchup over its three-game winning streak.
- Los Angeles skaters have averaged 11.8 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 10.4 giveaways per game (ranked 23rd in the league).
- Chicago is ranked 11th this season with 8.4 giveaways per game. That figure has trended lower lately, however, as the teams averaged 6.3 giveaways over its last 10 games and 6.6 giveaways over its last five.
- The Kings this season have registered the third-most hits in the NHL (25.5 per game).