The struggling Los Angeles Kings (7-12-1) continue to disappoint their fans, but the clash with the Colorado Avalanche (10-6-4) could be a turning point. The Kings have beaten the Avalanche in their last five H2H meetings, so the fans in LA hope for another victory on this one.
Can the Avalanche tighten up its’ defense
The Colorado Avalanche has won three of its last five games, scoring at least four goals on those three occasions. Colorado is the 3rd-most efficient team in the league with 3.55 goals per game and their attack mostly satisfied the team’s name, but the Avalanche has some defensive problems. They conceded 15 goals in the previous five outings and 22 goals in the last five games on the road including a 4-3 overtime victory at the Anaheim Ducks in their last outing on the road.
Goalie Semyon Varlamov is the first choice for the Avalanche and he has a 6-5-2 record with 2.32 GAA and .926 save percentage. The winger Mikko Rantanen is leading the way for the Avalanche with 32 points as the talented Finnish has scored eight goals and 24 assists. The center Nathan MacKinnon and the winger Gabriel Landeskog are the team’s leading goalscorers with 13 goals apiece. Colorado is 11th in the league in goals against (2.90) and 18th in the league in shots against per game (32.0).
Still sitting at the bottom
The Los Angeles Kings are struggling with injuries and their performance since the start of the season, so they are still sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference with 15 points at the moment. However, the Kings have won two of their last three games and both came on the road against the St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks. On the other hand, the Kings are on a three-game losing streak at home including a heavy 5-1 defeat to the Toronto Maple Leafs in their previous outing at Staples Center.
The Kings have used four goalies so far, but Jack Campbell is the first option and he has a 5-7-0 record with 2.33 GAA and .923 save percentage. However, in the last three games, we saw Cal Petersen as a starter, and he has a 2-1-0 record with 1.64 GAA and .951 save percentage. The winger Ilya Kovalchuk is leading the Kings with five goals and nine assists in 20 appearances, while defender Drew Doughty is the best assist-maker with 10 dimes thus far. The Kings are the most inefficient team in the league with 2.05 goals per game, and they are 30th in the league with just 27.9 shots per game.
- 3-11 in the last 14 meetings with the Kings
- 2-4 in the last six games on the road
- Over is 5-3 in the previous eight games overall
Los Angeles Kings:
- 4-10 in the last 14 games at home
- 8-2 in the last ten home meetings with Colorado
- Under is 6-2 in the last eight games overall
The Winner Prediction
The Kings are in big trouble at the moment, but the season is still young with enough games on the schedule to change the things and improve their performance. On the other side, Colorado looks better on the ice at the moment, winning three of its last five games, but the Avalanche has beaten the Kings just twice in the previous ten visits to Los Angeles, and they couldn’t beat the Kings in the previous five meetings overall. This seems like a perfect moment to take a payoff, so I’ll take Colorado here at money line odds as we saw an overtime in two of the last four H2H duels at Staples Center.
The Pick: Colorado Avalanche (-110)
As I’ve already mentioned, the Los Angeles Kings is the worst team in the league offensively, and they’ve scored just two goals in their last three games at home. However, they’ve dropped four goals on Anaheim and Columbus, while the Avalanche’s defense looks like a perfect matchup to bag more goals. The under has hit in six of the Kings’ previous eight games, but I’ll go with the over here, relying on Colorado’s sharp offense and fragile defense.
The Pick: Over 5.5 goals (+100)