The Ducks face the defending champion Kings and they will be a hungry team as they need every point that they can get to get into the post-season. See who we like in this battle of Southern California.
Face-off is set for 10:30 pm ET tonight at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. This game can be seen on NBCSN.
Respect the Champs
Although they have the inferior record and are on the road, the Los Angeles Kings are just a -105 NHL betting odds underdog and the total for the game is listed at 5 goals. This can be due in part to the Kings being the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the urgency that they will will possess in this game, and a game at the Pond is somewhat of a home game for the Kings as both of these teams are located near Los Angeles.
Jonathan Quick vs. John Gibson
No confirmation as of yet, but these are the expected goaltenders for tonight's matchup and it ought to be a dandy as both have played well.
Gibson plays behind Frederik Andersen, but has held his own as of late. Gibson is 4-1 with a 2.20 GAA in the month of March. The more ice time that he sees, the better that he's getting. Gibson is coming off of back to back wins over the Wild and Predators in which he's denied 57 out of 60 shots that he's saw on net
Quick hasn't had an outstanding season, coming off of a Stanley Cup, but he's as clutch as it gets. In the month of March, he has a 1.81 GAA in 8 decisions. This is the time of the season in which he elevates his level of play as the post-season is drawing nearer. I expect both goaltenders to play well here.
Hitting Peak Performance
This is the time of the season where a team wants to play their best and Anaheim always does a great job of this in the month of March. One reason for their exceptional play is the leadership of leading scorer Ryan Getzlaf.
Getzlaf is coming off of a goal in the 4-2 win over Nashville and has potted 3 goals in his last 3 games. This is a player that will pressure the opposing goalie consistently as he has had 3 shots on goal or more in each of his last 5 games and 5 points in his last 8 games. Getzlaf has had a fair bit of success against the Kings this season with 2 goals and 2 assists in 4 games. He should definitely be a factor in this game if Quick is not at his best.
The Ducks are hoping that defenseman, Cam Fowler, will get going a bit. Fowler also scored a goal against Nashville and has 2 points in the 4 meetings with the Kings. It's the complimentary players that could make a difference in a game such as this and Fowler has a chance of being one of those players.
The Kings are coming off of a 1-0 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. While Jonathan Quick did his job, the offense really didn't as the Coyotes are a team that Los Angeles should feast off of .Jeff Carter needs to be a factor in this upcoming game. He has 6 goals in his last 8 games and did pressure the Coyotes defense, but that game was too close for comfort, especially when Los Angeles needs every point that they can get.
This is a tough game to call, but I like Quick over Gibson in a big game that the Kings really need. Make the Kings your NHL pick at a nice price.
NHL Pick- Kings -105 at 5Dimes