Los Angeles Kings vs. Winnipeg Jets Free Pick

Jose VasquezArticles, Hockey, NHL

Two of the league’s best at killing off power plays, the Los Angeles Kings and the Winnipeg Jets collide at Bell MTS Place in a Western Conference showdown. The opening face-off is at 8 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 20, and it can be viewed live on Fox Sports West.

Los Angeles Kings at Winnipeg Jets Odds

The Jets are 43-29 straight up (SU) and have earned 9.7 units for moneyline bettors this year. That winning percentage, ranked fifth in the league so far this season, is a welcome improvement compared to what the team managed during the 2016-17 season (40-42). Of its 72 games this season, 36 have gone over the total, while 34 have gone under and just two have pushed. The team’s 26-9 SU at home this season.

Winnipeg comes into the matchup with the third-strongest power-play unit in the NHL, as it’s scored on 23.8 percent of their extra-man chances this year. On the other hand, its penalty kill is rated sixth overall, and it’s successfully killed off 83.0 percent of all penalties.

Winnipeg, as a collective unit, has been penalized 3.8 times per game overall this season, and 3.0 per game over its last five at home. The team has had to stave off opponent power plays for just 6.9 minutes per game over its last 10 matchups, in total.

Averaging 28.3 saves per game with a .925 save percentage, Connor Hellebuyck (37-23-9) has been the primary option in goal for the Jets this year. If they, however, decide to rest him, head coach Paul Maurice may roll with Steve Mason (4-8-8 record, .906 save percentage, 3.18 goals against average).

The Jets will continue to look for offensive production from Blake Wheeler and Patrik Laine. Wheeler (80 points) is up to 19 goals and 61 assists and has recorded multiple points 21 times this year. Laine has 43 goals and 25 assists to his credit and has recorded a point in 48 games.

On the other side of the ice, Los Angeles is 40-33 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 1.3 units this year. Through 73 regular season matches, 37 of its games have gone under the total, while 32 have gone over and just three have pushed. Los Angeles’ 21-16 SU as the visiting team this season.

Los Angeles has converted on 20.0 percent of its power play opportunities this season, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked second overall and it’s successfully killed off 84.2 percent of all opponent power plays.

Los Angeles’ players have been called for penalties 4.0 times per game in total this season, and 2.6 per game over their last five on the road. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 6.8 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Jonathan Quick (27.2 saves per game) has been the primary option in goal for Los Angeles. Quick owns a 29-28-2 record, and has registered a .921 save percentage and 2.43 goals against average this year.

Anze Kopitar (29 goals, 52 assists) has been one of the most vital playmaking threats for the visiting Kings.

Los Angeles Kings at Winnipeg Jets Free Picks

NHL Prediction: SU Winner – Jets, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • Los Angeles is 2-1 in games decided by a shootout this season while Winnipeg is 2-2 in shootouts.
  • The under has hit in three of Winnipeg’s last five games.
  • Eight of Los Angeles’ last ten games have been decided by two goals or more. The team is 5-3 in those games.
  • Los Angeles skaters have accounted for the league’s third-most hits per game (25.7).