Kings to Extend Winning Streak in Lone Visit of Season to Devils

jonathan quick kings

Dana Lane

Tuesday, December 12, 2017 4:13 PM UTC

Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017 4:13 PM UTC

The Los Angeles Kings look to extend their eight-game winning streak as they visit the Prudential Center on Tuesday night against the New Jersey Devils with a puck drop of 7 p.m. ET.

Free NHL Pick: Kings -115Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Los Angeles Kings at New Jersey Devils

Looks like this game has the interest of most NHL bettors today. There has been a good amount of money coming in on both teams with an edge to the Devils pushing the opening number of New Jersey +122 to just +105 in most spots. I’m not sure where that thinking comes from other than the due to lose factor that amateur handicappers use as a base for their selection. The Kings have been due for five games so throw that out. There is one reason why the Kings will get my money and that’s because of their defensive play.

If a team plays solid defense, it can sustain any streak or at least give financial backers a fighting chance at cashing a ticket every night. The Kings are the best defensive team in the league allowing just 2.19 goals per game. In their last 15 games, Los Angeles has been even better in giving up just 1.93 goals per game. During their win streak, John Stevens’ team has been suffocating, giving up just 13 goals. That’s a team I’m going to back until I see different. Drew Dougherty said that the identity of the team is defense, that’s what wins championships: “We’re going to run with it.”

Now the Kings face a Devils team that has scored just nine goals in their last four games. Overall, you can say the Devils have been a pretty good offensive team this season, and you’d be right as they are averaging 3.00 goals per game (12th), but we have to dig deeper because we know that last few weeks have not been a reflection of the New Jersey’s season. John Hynes’ team has scored just 11 goals over their last two weeks.

To put it in perspective, only Buffalo and Ottawa have scored less since Nov. 28. If you want historical trends, I stated on the "Ice Guys Show" this morning that the UNDER is 17-6-3 in this series over the last 26 meetings. If that holds true, which team do you think a low-scoring game benefits? We use the cute term "learning how to win," a lot but I don’t really like that saying. I think it’s more learning how to win after facing adversity. The sooner teams know how to put themselves in a position mentally to overcome losses, that’s when the consistency begins.

I think the Devils are swimming in this part of their development now. Like a teenager trying to figure life out. It takes them awhile to climb out of holes they dug for themselves. New Jersey is out of the top three in the Metropolitan Division for the first time this season and is holding on to a wild card spot by just a single point. The Kings will hand them the blueprint for what a championship team looks like tonight using the best defensive chokehold in the NHL.

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