Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

A couple of teams that have put themselves squarely in the playoff picture, the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks collide at the SAP Center for a Pacific Division tilt. The matchup will get underway at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 23, and fans at home can catch the game live on Fox Sports West.

Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks Odds

San Jose heads into the contest as the favorite with a moneyline of -125. The line for Los Angeles sits at +105, and the oddsmakers have set the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-140 to bet the under, +120 for the over).

Los Angeles is 22-14 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 5.8 units this year. Through 36 regular season outings, 18 of its games have gone under the total, while 15 have gone over and just three have pushed. As the away team in 2017-18, the Kings are 11-7 SU.

Los Angeles has converted on just 15.7 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a mark that places them in the bottom-5 overall among NHL teams. Having said that, it has the best penalty kill in the league, and it has successfully killed off a whopping 86.8 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, the Kings have been penalized 4.0 times per game overall this season, 4.4 per game over its last five total, and 4.6 per game over its last five games as the visiting team. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays 8.6 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Averaging 28.1 saves per game with a .928 save percentage, Jonathan Quick (17-11-1) has been the top option in goal for Los Angeles this season. If Los Angeles chooses to rest him, however, head coach John Stevens may turn to Darcy Kuemper (5-5-3), who has a .934 save percentage and 2.11 goals against average this year.

The visiting Kings have relied on Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown this year. Kopitar (40 points) is up to 17 goals and 23 assists, and has recorded multiple points in 11 different games. Brown has 13 goals and 16 assists to his name (and has registered at least one point in 19 games).

San Jose is 18-15 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.6 units for moneyline bettors thus far. 21 of its contests have gone under the total, while 11 have gone over and just one has pushed. The teams 10-8 SU at home this season.

The Sharks have converted on 22.4 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a mark that places it in the top-10 among NHL teams. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked second overall, and it’s successfully killed off 86.4 percent of all opponent power plays.

Sharks skaters have been called for penalties 3.9 times per game in total this season, 3.4 per game over their past five games total, and 4.0 per game over their last five at home. The teams had to kill penalties just 7.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Martin Jones (25.7 saves per game) has been the primary selection in goal for the Sharks. Jones has 11 wins, 12 losses, and four OT losses and has recorded a pedestrian 2.62 goals against average and a .912 save percentage this year.

The home team will be led on offense by Logan Couture (15 goals, 11 assists).

Los Angeles Kings at San Jose Sharks Betting Predictions

Predictions: SU Winner – Kings, O/U – Over

Betting Notes

  • Los Angeles is 2-0 in games decided by a shootout this season while San Jose is 1-1 in shootouts.
  • The total has gone over in four of San Jose’s last five games.
  • Los Angeles has managed 26.0 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while San Jose has been attempting 36.6 shots per game over its last five at home.
  • Six of Los Angeles last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 4-2 in those games.
  • Los Angeles skaters have dished out the third-most hits in the league (25.0 per game).