Free NHL Picks: Bet Kings Easily Win at Home vs. Bruins

Dana Lane

Saturday, March 19, 2016 7:24 PM UTC

Saturday, Mar. 19, 2016 7:24 PM UTC

The Boston Bruins are heading into the second game of their back-to-back games against Southern California teams tonight as they face the Los Angeles Kings.

Bruins vs. Kings
When handicapping this game it's extremely difficult to get out of my head the 9-2 beat down that the Kings laid down on the Boston Bruins last month, especially since the Kings offense has been running on all cylinders lately. To make matters worse it was on the Bruins home ice on a night they honored the return of former Bruin Milan Lucic. Let's check the latest trends & NHL odds.

As we head into the playoff I try to identify which teams are the most difficult to play against, meaning, who is the best defensively while still being able to generate enough offense to not get into a 1-0, 2-1 battle every night. The Los Angeles Kings are the best defensive team in the league and after the Bruins were blanked by the Anahiem Ducks 4-0, a team almost a mirror defensive image of Los Angeles, I can't pull the trigger on Boston even with Tuukka Rask back in goal. 

Defense with the Kings starts with Jonathan Quick in goal. Quick now has more wins than any other American goaltender in the history of the league. He looks to be settling into playoff mode recently. In his last two games, Quick is 2-0 with a .948 save percentage and a 1.48 goals against average in his last two starts including a shutout of the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Not to gloss over the recent play of Tuukka Rask who has been sensational with a 6-2-2 record in his last 10 starts.  In the time he has posted a phenominal 2.17 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. The questions with Tuukka has always been mental.  I see him as having to have a 30-35 save night to get out of Los Angeles with a win. 

This is the time of year I worry about bruins defensemen, Zdeno Chara, slowing down or at least trying to conserve his energy for the playoff run. Chara hasn't scored in 13 games and I still have concerns about Chara with Chara against the quicker forwards in the league. Despite Chara's size of 6-9, 250 is always a problem but he has been accused of playing soft at times and if he is matched up against Lucic it's likely that Lucic will neutralize Chara's strength down low. 

The Bruins, against the Pacific Division, have dropped six of their last seven games while not appearing as if they have the grit to compete against the tougher Pacific Division opponents. I've said since the trade that Milan Lucic going to Los Angeles stole the soul out of the Bruins. They don't give video tributes to players who didn't mean a great deal to an organization.  Bruins General Manager, Don Sweeney, has done a better than expected job putting Boston in a position to make some noise in the playoffs but the loss of Lucic will be their ultimate downfall.

The price on this game is higher than we'd like but i can't see the Bruins bouncing back against the Kings after getting blanked by the Ducks last night. Take the Kings as your NHL pick.

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NHL Pick: Kings -168
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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