The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings have won 3 straight games and will have a chance to extend that streak as the Capitals visit. They’re a sizable favorite on the NHL odds for Saturday.
The Washington Capitals Can Win Because…
They’re playing pretty well right now. They’re coming off a big 5-4 win in San Jose and they’ve actually won four of their last five outings – one of which was a 4-0 shutout of the Los Angeles Kings. Goaltender Braden Holtby has played pretty well recently, going 4-1-1 in his last six and while he did give up four to San Jose on Wednesday, he had a 0.80 GAA in his five previous starts.
The trouble with trusting the Kings right now is that goaltender Jonathan Quick isn’t playing that well. He had a 3.18 GAA in the month of January and has a 3.01 GAA in the month of February. He has a save percentage under .880 since the start of the New Year. While the Kings are winning games, it’s not because of him. They’re simply outscoring their opponents. That being the case, there’s a good opening for the Caps to slide in here and steal the win.
The Los Angeles Kings Can Win Because…
The Kings NHL odds shows them as a sizeable favorite for this game as they’re playing about as good as they have all season. Believe it or not, this is the Kings longest winning streak since the middle of November. While that’s hard to believe, it illustrates just how badly they’ve been struggling.
At any rate, they’ve won three in a row and they’re offense is clicking. They’ve scored 13 goals during that span, which is fantastic. When they’re scoring that much (4.3 goals per game), they’re going to be winning fairly often as they’re usually an excellent defensive team. Goaltender Jonathan Quick hasn’t had many problems with the Capitals, going 4-1-0 with a 2.71 GAA in his five career outings against them. He plays much better at home (15-5-5, 2.25 GAA, .917 save percentage) than he does on the road (5-10-5, 2.87 GAA, .898 save percentage).
While the Kings have had their fair share of issues on the road (just seven wins in 25 road games), they’ve been quite competent at home, going 17-6-6. Their 40 points at home are the most they’ve ever had at home as a franchise after 29 games. And while the Capitals have won two straight on the road, they’ve actually lost five of their last seven away games.
The Kings are rolling right now and they’re an excellent home team, so I’m not going to doubt them in this spot. They have a good track record against the Caps, wining each of the last four times they’ve hosted, and should extend that streak to five. Overall, they’ve won 15 of the last 23 meetings, giving them a 65% winning percentage since 1996. And since they just lost to the Caps, it’s likely they’ll be eyeing some revenge in this spot. Take them with your NHL picks here.
Free NHL Pick: Kings -134 at Pinnacle Sports