Back to Back Winning Games Put Minnesota as our NHL Pick vs. LA Kings

David Lawrence

Friday, October 16, 2015 3:18 PM GMT

Los Angeles Kings have already hit the panic button. There's a strong sense of urgency to turn things around, they will be in tough again. Read this article to find our NHL pick for the game.

Momentum
Minnesota has opened the year with three straight wins – including a thrilling comeback victory over the Colorado Avalanche in which they trailed 4-1 before rallying back for a 5-4 win. The Wild carried over the momentum from that game in a 3-2 win over the St. Louis Blues in their home opener and then topped the Arizona Coyotes last night. The main weakness on the team is offense but they’ve had no problems in that department so far. They’ve scored 12 goals in three games.

Meanwhile, the Kings are searching for a spark as they look to generate some momentum before their home stand to start the season comes to an end. Los Angeles will host Minnesota and Colorado before playing three of their next four games on the road but overcoming their slow start at home with the pressure squarely on them for this game will not be easy.

 

Projected Starting Goalies
Jonathan Quick is expected to be back between the pipes for the Kings and they undoubtedly need him to be better if they are going to get their season back on track. Quick is 0-3-0 with a 3.70 GAA and .861 save percentage through the first three games and he’s even been booed by the home fans – if you can believe that. His downturn has been surprising as he is regarded as one of the top goaltenders in the NHL.

The Wild started Devan Dubnyk against his former team on Thursday and will give backup Darcy Kuemper his first start of the season on Friday. Kuemper struggled at times last season before Minnesota traded for Dubnyk but he is still a quality young goaltender with upside. If you’re using the Wild for your NHL picks, you’d rather have Dubnyk between the pipes but Kuemper is a decent backup.

 

What’s The Pick?
An offseason reload combined with a seemingly favorable schedule to open the year was supposed to mean a strong start for the Kings but they’ve dropped three in a row to begin their season with all three losses coming on home ice. Worse yet, they’ve been outscored 12-2.

The sense of urgency the Kings will begin this game with might actually hurt them unless they can stay under control and avoid taking the dumb penalties and making the costly mistakes they have through the first three games. Yes, the Wild are playing back-to-back games here but they have a lot of confidence as they’ve yet to lose this season. Back-to-backs will have more of an impact later in the year as we’re still early. Beyond that, if you like the Kings, you have to lay in the neighborhood of -150 on the NHL odds. That’s crazy. With the Kings and Quick playing the way they are, the Wild are the play here.

NHL Pick: Wild +135 at 5Dimes

[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":2861361, "sportsbooksIds":[1096,19,93,92,238,349], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]