In a game that features two of the leagues strongest penalty-kill units, the Los Angeles Kings and the New York Rangers face off at Madison Square Garden in a cross-country tilt. The action gets underway at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, December 15, and you’ll be able to witness the game live on Sportsnet.
Los Angeles Kings at New York Rangers Odds
Los Angeles (-105) is currently the underdog to New York (-115), and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at 6 goals (-105 for the over, -115 for the under).
Los Angeles is 20-12 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 5.8 units this season. 17 of its outings have gone under the total, while 13 have gone over and just two have pushed. This 2017-18 Kings team is 10-5 SU on the road.
Los Angeles has converted on just 16.2 percent of its power play opportunities this year, a figure that places them in the bottom-10 overall among NHL teams. Its penalty kill is ranked second overall, and it’s successfully killed off a whopping 87.6 percent of all penalties.
The Kings, as a collective unit, have been sent to the penalty box 3.9 times per game overall this season, and 3.2 per game over its last five outings. The teams had to defend opponent power plays just 8.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
With a .926 save percentage and 27.9 saves per game, Jonathan Quick (15-10-1) has been the top option in goal for Los Angeles this year. If it decides to rest him, however, head coach John Stevens may go with Darcy Kuemper (5-4-2), who has a .941 save percentage and 1.88 goals against average this year.
The visiting Kings have relied heavily on Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown this year. Kopitar (38 points) has tallied 16 goals and 22 assists, and has recorded multiple points 11 times. Brown has 12 goals and 14 assists to his credit, and has registered at least one point in 17 games.
New York is 16-15 straight up (SU) and has lost 1.4 units for moneyline bettors thus far. Through 31 regular season contests, 18 of its games have gone over the total, while 11 have gone under and just two have pushed. This year, the teams 12-8 SU as the home team.
The Rangers have converted on just 20.0 percent of their power play chances this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked seventh overall, and it’s successfully killed off 82.8 percent of all opponent power plays.
New York players have been penalized only 3.6 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five home outings. The team has had to kill penalties just 6.2 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.
Henrik Lundqvist (27.5 saves per game) has been the top netminder in goal for the Rangers. Lundqvist has 14 wins, 12 losses, and two overtime losses and has recorded a .916 save percentage and 2.70 goals against average this season.
The Broadway Blueshirts will be led on offense by Mats Zuccarello (seven goals, 18 assists).
Los Angeles Kings at New York Rangers Free Picks
Predictions: SU Winner – Rangers, O/U – Over
- Four of New York’s last ten games have been decided by two or more goals. The team is 3-1 overall in those games.
- Penalties and power plays may be key in tonight’s game. The Kings are 6-7 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 14-6 in games where they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Rangers are 7-5 when the team serves fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 11-9 in games where they’re in the box for less than 10 minutes.
- New York is 1-2 in games decided by a shootout this season while Los Angeles is 2-0 in shootouts.
- The over has hit in three of New York’s last five games.
- New York has averaged 16.4 giveaways over its last five home games, a rise over its season average of 14.7 giveaways per game (ranked 31st overall).
- Los Angeles skaters have averaged 4.6 giveaways over its last five home games, an improvement from its season average of 11.0 giveaways per game (ranked 23rd).
- Los Angeles skaters have dished out the third-most hits in the league (24.9 per game).